Archive for October 30th, 2007

Horned Lizard Conservation

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Wildlife Restoration Program

Texas’ beloved horny toad is the subject of an ongoing citizen science project called Texas Horned Lizard Watch, where volunteers collect data about this vanishing Texas icon.

It’s been going on for ten years now. So we’ve gotten some wonderful information from people – all across the state – about how horned lizards are doing.

Lee Ann Linam coordinates the program. Among other uses, the data helps biologists like Linam establish predictors of horned lizard decline.

Our horned lizard watch data, that our volunteers put together, show that in fact, that the presence of fire ants is kind of the strongest predictor as to whether or not you’ll find horned lizards at a site. And, of course, it’s generally not a good relationship.

Red harvester ants are horned lizard’s food of choice — but good luck finding them when fire ants are around.

Fire ants often drive out native ant species; they feed on small vertebrates, especially animals that lay their eggs in the ground.

There’s a new opportunity for people wanting to participate in Texas Horned Lizard Watch.

If they’re interested in the survey project in cemeteries they can get in touch with us.

Spooky…we’ll have details on surveying horned lizards in cemeteries tomorrow. That’s our show… we receive support from the Wildlife Restoration Program… working to increase conservation efforts in Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.