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Effect of Drought on Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizards (Gambelia sila)

David J. Germano, Daniel F. Williams and Walter Tordoff III
Northwestern Naturalist
Vol. 75, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 11-19
DOI: 10.2307/3536555
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3536555
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effect of Drought on Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizards (Gambelia sila)
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Abstract

We studied a population of blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila) on the Elkhorn Plain, California from 1988-1991. Sufficient precipitation fell during the winters of 1987-1988 and 1990-1991 to produce abundant herbaceous ground cover the following springs. Winter rains in 1988-1989 produced low amounts of ground cover, and rains in 1989-1990 did not cause any appreciable number of annual plants to germinate. Counts of grasshoppers differed significantly between 1990 and 1991, with 10-60 times more grasshoppers counted in 1991 than 1990. In 1988, 1989, and 1991, adult leopard lizards, together with yearlings that hatched the preceding year, emerged from winter torpor in the spring and remained active through June. A few adults remained active into August, and in 1991 into September. In these same years, hatchlings appeared aboveground in August, and stayed active into September or October. However, in 1990, only yearling lizards were found active aboveground, and no reproduction occurred. Adult Gambelia sila have the ability to remain belowground > 21 mo during periods of low prey abundance.

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