Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baby Short-horned Lizard

Horned lizards (also known as horny toads, horned frogs, and horned toads) are not as common as they once were, with habitat destruction being the major factor in the decline of the population. This little guy is a short-horned lizard--the species has a range from Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, all the way south to Sonora, Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico. 

The species lives in short-grass communities of the the northern Great Plains, in sagebrush and greasewood of the Great Basin, and on mountain hillsides and valleys with pinyon-juniper (which is where we found this wee one), aspen and coniferous forests throughout the range.  This short-horned lizard was found at the Davis Mountains Preserve, part of The Nature Conservancy's preservation area in our region, north of Fort Davis.

The lizards are so cute, many folks are tempted to keep them as pets.  Howver the Horned Lizard Conservation Society warns that they're very difficult to keep in captivity, and taking one home will likely lead to the animal dying a slow death.  We put this one back in the grass where we found him on the side of the mountain, so others may enjoy him and his offspring.

Want to learn more?  Check out and consider becoming a member of the Horned Lizard Conservation Society, based in Austin.

Our thanks to the Tierra Grande chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, and the Davis Mountains Preserve!

1 comment:

Betty Saenz said...

I just saw some horned toads out near Stamford, Texas!! It was exciting. I had not seen them live and in the wild since childhood.