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Method Assesses Health and Size of Lizard Populations

Monitoring programs that survey many wildlife species at the same time across large geographic regions are important for informing conservation decisions, but reptiles are often missing from these efforts because they are difficult to survey. As described in a new Ecology & Evolution study, researchers have now developed a way to provide accurate estimates of lizard populations.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 12:01 am EST

Monitoring programs that survey many wildlife species at the same time across large geographic regions are important for informing conservation decisions, but reptiles are often missing from these efforts because they are difficult to survey. As described in a new Ecology & Evolution study, researchers have now developed a way to provide accurate estimates of lizard populations.

The scientists used their approach at 229 widely-dispersed sites throughout the Mojave Desert in California and estimated a total population size of 80 million for the three most common species of lizards across this 66,830 km2 ecoregion comprising 16% of the total land area of the state.

The results provide a baseline against which to monitor changes in population status and show how the distribution and behavior of lizards vary with differences in vegetation cover, human land use, and temperature. The study also demonstrates how multi-species monitoring programs spanning arid ecoregions can better incorporate information about reptiles. 

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.4780 

About Journal 

The philosophy of Ecology and Evolutionis to be author friendly and to look for reasons to publish rather than reject.

Journals typically reject papers that do not fall within the scope of the journal. Ecology and Evolution is intentionally very broad. We accept descriptive studies. We accept work that is preliminary. We accept new opinions and ideas. Any research in ecology, evolution, or at the interface is acceptable. We do not distinguish between subfields of ecology or evolution – all are welcome.

The journal will consider submissions across taxa in areas including but not limited to micro and macro ecological and evolutionary processes, characteristics of and interactions between individuals, populations, communities and the environment, physiological responses to environmental change, population genetics and phylogenetics, relatedness and kin selection, life histories, systematics and taxonomy, conservation genetics, extinction, speciation, adaption, behaviour, biodiversity, species abundance, macroecology, population and ecosystem dynamics, and conservation policy.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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