Survivorship and Spatial Patterns of an Urban Population of Texas Horned Lizards

Miranda N. Vesy, Jessa L. Watters, Raymond W. Moody, Eric M. Schauber, Jennie M. Mook, Cameron D. Siler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Habitat fragmentation has negative consequences on threatened and endangered species by creating isolated populations. The Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) is experiencing population declines and localized extirpations throughout its range and has been classified as a species of greatest conservation need in Oklahoma, USA. Younger age classes have been poorly studied but may be vital to the stability of remaining populations. To address gaps in knowledge concerning subadult (hatchling and juvenile) morphometrics, survivorship, and home range sizes, we studied 2 cohorts of subadults, for 2 years each, covering their hatching and juvenile years (2016–2019). We used a combination of radio-telemetry and novel harmonic radar methodology to study a closed population of Texas horned lizards in 15 ha of native grassland at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Population abundance for adults and juveniles was estimated as 56.5 ± 5.5 lizards and density as 7.96 lizards/ha. Our lowest estimates of survival indicated an average survival probability for the hatchling life stage of 0.285 (95% CI = 0.15–0.44), which is lower than for adults on the site. Average home range size increased from hatchling to adult life stages. Our results will have an immediate effect on the planning and assessment of ongoing headstart and management programs for Texas horned lizards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1279
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume85
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Oklahoma
  • habitat fragmentation
  • harmonic radar
  • hatchling
  • home range
  • long-term monitoring
  • telemetry
  • urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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