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.
CALL FOR GRANT APPLICATIONS!!!
Horned Lizard Research Grant 2018 Application
The Horned Lizard Conservation Society is dedicated to protecting horned lizards by documenting and publicizing the values and conservation needs of horned lizards, promoting horned lizard conservation projects, and assisting with horned lizard management initiatives. Towards those ends, the HLCS annually sponsors research that has direct conservation applications. To learn more about the society and past grants, go to http://www.hornedlizards.org/.
We will be offering grants again in 2018. In the past, priority has been given to projects that have direct conservation implications, including public education.
To apply, send a proposal detailing the goal of the study, the rationale for it including relevance to conservation of horned lizards, and how your work would benefit from this opportunity. The proposal may not exceed 1000 words. Also include a preliminary budget with any other funding sources available or received for your project. In addition, send a short resume or CV (up to 3 pages) for the lead applicant and have a single letter of reference sent to Monty Criswell, Member at Large. (His email is on officers page of HLCS website)
The deadline is January 1, 2018. The decision will be announced by January 31, 2018.
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