New Records for Lizards and Snakes in Jim Hogg and Willacy Counties

We are committed to finding solutions for both wildlife conservation and livestock production because we believe that ranching and wildlife go together.

As part of our Natural History Collections project, the East Foundation has trapped and sampled birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. These efforts, which have occurred across the four largest East Foundation properties, are aimed at capturing the biodiversity within the South Texas Sand Sheet, an ecological region with major holes in wildlife species accounts, ranges, and distributions.

East Foundation lands occur at the crossroads of four major ecological regions and the Foundation is a significant player in filling in these gaps of knowledge related to biological communities within this hyper-diverse region.

We have collected five new records for Jim Hogg County on the San Antonio Viejo Ranch, including three lizards and two snakes. These are:

  • Mediterranean House Gecko, collected from a woodpile next to an abandoned house in thornshrub forest. This record fills a gap between Brooks County to the east, Starr County to the south, Webb County to the northwest, and Zapata County to the west.
  • Four-lined Skink, collected under rotten log next to a windmill tank in thornscrub savannah. This record fills a gap between Duval County to the north, Starr County to the south, and Webb County to the northwest.
  • Graphic Spiny Lizard, collected from a caliche road. This record fills a gap between Starr County to the south and Zapata County to the west and is 35 air km north of the nearest records in La Gloria, Starr County, Texas.
  • Tamaulipan Hook-nosed Snake, collected under rock on caliche-limestone hill in thornshrub forest. This record fills a gap between Duval County to the north, Starr County to the south, Webb County to the northwest, and Zapata County to the west.
  • Texas Coral Snake, collected in funnel trap along drift fence in open and sandy grassland. This record fills a gap between Brooks County to the east, Duval County to the north, Starr County to the south, and Zapata County to the west.

We have collected four new records for Willacy County on the El Sauz Ranch, including one lizard and three snakes. These are:

  • Slender Glass Lizard, collected in funnel trap along drift fence in open and sandy grassland. This record fills a gap between Cameron County to the south, Hidalgo County to the west, and Kenedy County to the north.
  • Scarletsnake, collected in funnel trap along drift fence in open and sandy grassland. This record extends previously known range of this species 47 air km southeast of nearest records south of Armstrong, Kenedy County, Texas.
  • Texas Threadsnake, collected in pitfall trap along drift fence in open and sandy grassland. This record fills a gap between Cameron County to the south, Hidalgo County to the west, and Kenedy County to the north.
  • Plains Black-headed Snake, collected under rotten log in subtropical woodland. This record fills a gap between Cameron County to the south, Hidalgo County to the west, and Kenedy County to the north.

The East Foundation will continue to collect foundational information on species distributions to increase knowledge of biodiversity in this region because ranching and wildlife go together.

Partner: Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections at Texas A&M University

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