Dallas Zoo Texas Horned Lizard Conservation
Horned lizards, also known as horny toads, represent a unique group of lizards that inhabit the southern United States and northern Mexico. The Texas horned lizard, Phrynosoma cornutum, is perhaps the most recognizable species of horned lizard. It is the largest North American native species of horned lizard and has the widest distribution of any other horned lizard species in the United States.
Once extremely common, they are now in decline throughout much of their range. The Texas horned lizard is perhaps the most threatened member of this group, with estimated population declines of greater than 30% across its range (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico) and an even higher decline rate in Texas. Populations have disappeared in East and Central Texas, and are decreasing in North Texas as well.
Staff members of the Dallas Zoo are studying the life history of Texas horned lizards at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch (RPQRR). RPQRR is a 4,700 acre preserve located in Fisher County, Texas. By collecting lizard life history data (including but not limited to population densities, habitat preferences, diet, sex ratios, activity patterns, etc.), we hope to shed valuable light on the ecology of this threatened native Texan.
For more information, visit the Texas Horned Lizard Conservation website.