Award Date

5-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Chad L. Cross, Ph. D., Quantitative Ecologist/Statistician

Advisor 2

Patrick Drohan, Ph. D., Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

Number of Pages

24

Abstract

Developing an understanding of the habitat usage of reptiles is important when trying to develop a management or restoration plan that is compatible with what is known of the reptile species that are being investigated. There are many lizard species found in the Mojave Desert, but there are only four known to inhabit the Las Vegas Springs Preserve (LVSP) in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the LVSP, sites are going to be restored with native Mojave Desert vegetation. Since there are many habitat types in the Mojave Desert, we must determine which types would be best suited for the four species of lizards at the LVSP. Therefore this study will determine habitat usage by the four species of lizards at the LVSP.

One issue that arises in determining the true habitat found at the LVSP is whether the lizards are using the habitat around the array or are they moving from a nearby habitat. Research is limited on home range and foraging dealing with the four lizard species, and the area of study is small and isolated, so determining where exactly the lizards are coming from is not possible for this study.

Owing to the isolation of the population of lizard species, they may in some way become specialized to certain habitat types. If the area is restored to a habitat type that is not used by the four species of lizards, then this could cause populations to move or be less viable and hence disrupt the current ecological balance.

The four species of lizards that are found at the LVSP are: Cnemidophorus tigris (C. tigris), Uta stansburiana (U. stansburiana), Sceloporus magister (S. magister), and Xantusia vigilis (X. vigilis). These are all common species that are found in the Mojave Desert region of the United States (Behler and King, 2002). Although these species are found in the same region, they have different habitat preferences, and activity patterns (Table 1 and Table 2).

Keywords

Aspidoscelis tigris; Desert spiny lizard; Fragmented landscapes; Habitat conservation; Las Vegas Springs Preserve (Nev.); Lizards habitat; Nevada; Uta stansburiana

Disciplines

Animal Sciences | Desert Ecology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation

Language

English