Journal archives for April 2017

April 25, 2017

LAX

On April 13th of 2017 I was invited by Jon Richmond to help collect Horned lizard tissues from the habitat at the end of the LAX runway. This is a large stretch of habitat that was going to be developed for homes. All the infrastructure was in place before it was nixed due to the proximity to the airport. Now it is the last coastal sand dune habitat in all of Los Angeles. Thankfully it is off limits to the public and is a preserve where a large horned lizard population survives. The flora is mostly native, but, like most of southern California, has a wide array of invasive species as well. While looking for horned lizards I attempted to record at least one of every species of plant that I observed. The most dominant species were the coastal and common buckwheat, brittle bush and poppies with some plots dominated by grasses and/or ice plant. I also vouchered every single Dudleya that I observed in order to get a density estimate for their population. over the course of the day we were able to search through the northern half of the property. a total of 6 horned lizards were found. It was apparent to all persons involved that this population of Phrynosoma seems to be somewhat dwarfed compared to other inland and southern populations. I was shot with blood from one of the individuals that I caught. This is the first instance that I have observed this defensive behavior involving ruptured the blood vessels in the eye squirting blood at a threatening predator. Jeff Lemm has also noted that this behavior is uncommon in Blainville's horned lizard.
A number of scorpions were observed. I'll have to wait on @kjmcwest to see what species they are, but my guess is California scorpion.
Not included in the vouchers is what I thought was a large skink disappearing into a large bush. Obviously I did not get a picture, but I'm pretty sure by the slithering motion, coloration, and speed that it was a skink. Also seen was an alligator lizard running into a dense thicket of brittlebush.

Posted on April 25, 2017 00:16 by naturenate naturenate | 161 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

April 18, 2017

Big Success!!

6/1/2017
That's all folks! I'd like to extend one last Thank You to every one who participated in this BioRAP. The numbers speak for themselves. At the time of writing this post there were even more species recorded on paper than what the span of pictures shows as posted in the project. This endeavor was a huge success. Hopefully we will be engaging in more projects similar to this survey in other parts of the greater southern California region in the upcoming years. The data is being processed now and will be shared after it has been interpreted. Happy Herping everyone!

4/24/2017
A huge thank you to all of the herpetologists and other naturalists who volunteered over the 22nd and 23rd for the BioRAP. It was certainly a success. Even though we didn't find the quantity we hoped for, we did find a large diversity of reptiles and amphibians. Thank you for adding your pictures to the project. I'm sure there will be more to come as we look forward to the next event on May 6th and 7th where we will switch our tactics to target the crepuscular species.

4/17/2017
NEXT WEEKEND!!

Hello Herpetologists,
The time is close and we need RSVP's! We want to be sure to have enough food and not wasting any so please RSVP if you are planning on attending the first weekend (22nd and/or 23rd) to: nwsmith(at)usgs.gov

Posted on April 18, 2017 20:24 by naturenate naturenate | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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