CONSERVATION OF AN ENDEMIC REPTILE: CREATION AND POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF A RANGEWIDE HABITAT MODEL FOR THE FLAT-TAILED HORNED LIZARD (PHRYNOSOMA MCALLII).
Patricia M. Valcarcel; WRA, Inc.; 2169-G East Francisco Blvd, San Rafael, CA, 94122; (415) 524-7542; valcarcel@wra-ca.com; Michael Rochelle, Kevin Clark, Melissa Stepek, Rob Lovich, Lin Piest, Felicia Sirchia, Bradford Hollingsworth
Understanding environmental variables correlated with presence of a species can aide in landscape-scale conservation planning. The flat-tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii) has a restricted range in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico and is listed as a state sensitive species throughout its range. A Rangewide Management Strategy has been prepared to guide management of habitat and populations; however, no rangewide model had been created. We prepared a "living" rangewide habitat suitability model for P. mcallii with the intention that the model can be updated and refined as new information is gathered. Nearly 8,000 occurrence records and 28 environmental layers were reviewed in the process of generating a presence-only model on the MaxENT platform. Spatial and sampling biases were noted and model parameters adjusted to reduce biases. Model ground truthing focused on three survey areas within the Borrego Badlands Management Area. At the range-wide scale, land cover appears to be the most important factor determining potentially suitable habitat but some climate variables were also influential. This presentation reviews the methods to create the base of the living model, notes for sampling strategies for model creation, and potential applications of the model since it was created.
Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles II