The discovery of a significant lizard population has stopped Cardrona Alpine Resort's plans for the construction of a new chairlift before this winter.

Last August, the Central Otago resort announced plans to install a quad chairlift to open up 55ha of new, advanced terrain known as Pringles.

It was hoped to be ready for this year's season. However, the lizards were found when the site was inspected at Christmas before construction began.

Cardrona general manager Bridget Legnavsky said there were "lots of different kinds" of lizards discovered, with varying populations.

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She said the resort was working with the Department of Conservation on a plan to preserve the "fantastic" lizard habitat while the new chairlift was built.

"Unknowns and complexities" meant building the chairlift for this winter was unrealistic.

"With it getting colder and closer to winter it's getting too late to deliver our promise of Pringles," Legnavsky said.

"We want to protect these lizards and we want to make a fantastic environment for them because it's pretty special. We're hoping to have [the chairlift] in by the end of next summer."