The HLCS is excited to announce the 2020 Horned Lizard Conservation Conference to be held on June 6, 2020 at the Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix, AZ. Submit your abstracts for presentations and posters to Mason Lee at email@example.com. Look for more information in the future!
By Mason Lee
We know our members are not only passionate about horned lizard conservation but are also advocates of preserving biodiversity in our natural world. We wanted to bring to our members’ attention to a proposed bill that is currently being considered in Congress.
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
The Horned Lizard Conservation Society is excited to announce the 2018 Grant Award recipients:
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.
It is my great pleasure to announce our next biennial meeting,which will occur in historic downtown Goliad, TX on July 29, 2017. Saturday will be filled with a series of lectures, followed by an evening social. On Sunday, July 30th, we will abscond to nearby Kenedy, TX, the proclaimed horned lizard capital of the world, to look for lizards!
Saturday Meeting: 240 South Commercial Street; Goliad TX 77963
Sunday morning: 7:00am Survey in Kennedy (Start time subject to change, but will be announced again at Saturday meeting.)
*Hotel: There is a Best Western in Goliad as well as few other smaller hotels. There are hotels in Kennedy as well.
If you are interested in presenting a paper or a poster, please contact me as soon as possible: Jared Fuller
In addition, we are considering putting together an auction for this event. If you have a horned lizard or nature-themed item that you would be willing to donate, the please let me know!
Additional details will be announced shortly via email and on Facebook!
Looking forward to seeing everyone!
Now you can support the Horned Lizard Conservation Society while you shop on Amazon.com through Amazon Smiles and it won't cost you a dime! Just shop from our donation page! Easy! CLICK HERE to ADD it!
For Immediate Release, June 10, 2014
Contact: Ileene Anderson, (323) 654-5943, firstname.lastname@example.org
Protection Sought for Rare Desert Lizard in California’s Sonoran Desert
LOS ANGELES— The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission today to protect the rare and vanishing flat-tailed horned lizard as an endangered species. Habitat loss, off-road vehicles and global warming are pushing this rare horned lizard toward extinction.
“This charming little lizard used to be fairly common in parts of the Sonoran Desert, but it’s been declining throughout its range in recent years,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist with the Center. “A 1997 voluntary conservation agreement was supposed to help the lizard recover but clearly it isn’t working. State protection will give this lizard a fighting chance at survival.”
The flat-tailed horned lizard once inhabited large regions of the Sonoran Desert in Southern California, but urban sprawl and agricultural development have destroyed much of its habitat. Only one small population remains in the Coachella Valley, where the lizards were once abundant . The animals face serious ongoing threats from development and off-road vehicles, which can crush them easily because of the “freeze in place” strategy they adopt when threatened. They’re also threatened by transmission lines, roads, global warming and U.S. border-related stresses. The lizard’s primary prey, harvester ants, have also been hard-hit by competition with invasive argentine ants, habitat loss from invasive plants, and pesticides.
The voluntary Interagency Conservation Agreement, which has governed lizard management since 1997, has failed to prevent declines of the species. This agreement does not protect adequate lizard habitat and has been ineffective in reducing key threats. For example, the Bureau of Land Management recently opened more than 43,000 previously protected acres of lizard habitat in the Algodones Dunes in Imperial County to destructive and intensive off-road vehicle use. The Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area, designated as a lizard “research area” under the agreement, is severely degraded due to permitted and unrestricted off-road vehicle driving, and the other lizard management areas have been similarly damaged by legal and illegal ORV use.
As the common name suggests, the flat-tailed horned lizard has a broad, flattened tail and long, sharp horns on its head, Adults range from 2.5 to 4.3 inches long, excluding the tail. In California, the flat-tailed horned lizard inhabits portions of the Sonoran Desert in Southern California’s California Desert Conservation Area in Riverside, Imperial and San Diego counties.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists