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Posted by Lester G. Milroy III on June 06, 2002 at 16:28:18:
In Reply to: Re: Horned Lizards In Northern Cal? posted by Ken on June 06, 2002 at 14:50:18:
: : : Over the last month and a half I've seen at least 5 HL in a certain East Bay Regional Park while trail running. I've been going the park for nearly 30 years running/hiking/mt. biking and have never seen one. I very rarely see large ants. As a kid I used to catch snakes & lizards all the time here. I've never seen one in the wild here. Wondering if any one else has seen HL in No Cal. What are they eating? Are the protected? Last run I nearly swashed one sunning on the trail. No question it was a HL. Are they protected in California? Let a Park Ranger know what I saw and he never heard of any sighting here.
: : :They are protected. They are the California Coast Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma coronatum frontale. There are pocket populations in the East Bay Region. They have becaome very rare in that area. Their range in that area used to be greater, but development has taken its toll. They are eating ants, just like all HLs. The ants you see are just a small portion of the ants that are available in that area. If you were to go "off trail" you would see more variety. The HLs in the park are even more so protected because of their locality. Any species in parks, wildlife reserves and the like are protected. Not even with a permit are they allowed to be captured. Lester G. Milroy III
: I did realized the animals in the park were protected. I referred to catching stuff as a kid in the hills around the area. Not in the park! Kind of weird that I've had more mt. lion sightings in the park & and the surrounding open space out here than HL's. So, HL's are on California's protected list? How long has this been the case? Thanks for the info.
:Ken, the Coast Horned Lizards have been under protection since 1974. It has been illegal to collect Coast Horned Lizards for export, CITES protection, since 1947. They are classified as Species of Special Concern under the California ESA, and Catagory II under Federal ESA. Permits are required for research and study. There are two subspecies native to California, The California Coast Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma coronatum frontale, and the San Diego Coast Horned Lizard, P. c. blainvillei. We also have the Shorthorned Lizard, Phrynosoma hernandezi (douglassi), in the North Eastern part of the state, and the Desert Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, in the Mojave Desert region. Lester G. Milroy III