By Mason Lee
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would use a portion ($1.3 billion) of existing revenue from energy and mineral production royalties to fund state wildlife conservation programs. Each state’s wildlife and fish agency would apply their allocated money to projects that benefit and protect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN), which are species that are at risk of becoming endangered. This bill has bipartisan support and is also supported by energy companies and outdoor equipment companies.
If this Act is passed, the state of Texas would receive $60 million to go towards protecting SGCN such as the Texas horned lizard. Texas is not the only state that lists a horned lizard species as an SGCN. Eight other states would also receive money that could be put towards horned lizard conservation.
The voice of the people is a powerful tool in legislation. Our aim is to inform our members of potential legislation that could benefit horned lizard conservation and to provide them with opportunities to become involved, if they so choose.
Attached at the bottom of this article is a link to a fact sheet about the Act (tailored for Texas). Also attached is a link to a sample letter (also tailored for Texas) that can be sent to your state representative requesting that they co-sponsor this bill, if you decide to get involved. You can find your state representative on this website: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
Thank you for your continued support of the Horned Lizard Conservation Society and its mission to publicize and promote horned lizard conservation throughout their ranges.
Congratulations to the 2018 Grant Recipients!
By Leslie Nossaman
Sarah Wenner from California State University, California – Study the delineation and maintenance of conservation units of P. blainvillii in urban Southern California. Results will help determine how to guide management efforts to preserve or restore genetic diversity and connectivity for this species.
Hannah Richards from Midwestern State University, Texas – Study the horned lizard diet efficiency to better understand how prey other than the harvester ant could take the place or supplement the ant diet. The study will make predictions on evolution of nutrition adaptability with the decline of the harvester ant and increased nutrition coming from other prey.
Dusty Rhoads from Texas Christian University, Texas – Determine the importance to geographic color pattern adaptation to the role of crypsis and survival. The study will analyze the effect of color of stripe to grasses, width of grasses correlated to the width of the lizard stripe, and orientation of the lizard with the grasses.
Chris Valdez from the Houston Zoo, Texas – Assess the habitat and herpetological diversity on the Katy Prairie to determine potential release of captive-raised Texas horned lizards (P. cornutum).
Congratulations to these horned lizard researchers! We are looking forward to hearing more about their results in our newsletter.