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Elgaria panamintina

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA ANGUIDAE

Scientific Name: Elgaria panamintina
Species Authority: (Stebbins, 1958)
Common Name(s):
English Panamint Alligator Lizard
Synonym(s):
Gerrhonotus panamintus Stebbins, 1958
Taxonomic Notes: Elgaria panamintina was formerly included in the genus Gerrhonotus (see Good 1988).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii); C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is probably continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat; and because the population size is estimated to number fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, and is probably experiencing a continuing decline, and no subpopulation is estimated to contain more than 1,000 mature individuals.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Insufficiently Known (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from California in the United States. It is known several locations in desert mountains of Inyo and Mono counties, east-central California (Stebbins 2003). Some specific locations include the following: Panamint Mountains (Brewery and Limekiln springs, Surprise Canyon, Pleasant Canyon, Wildrose Canyon, middle fork of Hanaupah Canyon), Nelson Mountains (Grapevine Canyon), Inyo Mountains (Daisy Canyon, Lime Hill, Long John Canyon, French Spring), White Mountains (Batchelder Spring, Westgard Pass, Marble Canyon, Tollhouse Spring, Black Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon, Silver Creek Canyon, Coldwater Creek, above Chalfant and Hammil valleys), eastern Argus Mountains, Cosos Mountains (Banta et al. 1996). Its occurrence in talus habitat suggested to Banta et al. (1996) that the geographic range may be broader than is now known. However, the known area of occupancy is very small (probably less than 5 sq. km if one assumes that each occupied patch is 2 km long and 0.1 km wide). Elevational range is about 2,500 to 7,500 feet (760 to 2,300 m).
Countries:
Native:
United States (California)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Only 24 museum specimens from 16 localities and an additional 11 sight records have accumulated since the species was described in 1958 (Banta et al. 1996). Banta et al. (1996) mapped 23 locations. The total adult population size of this secretive and apparently rare lizard is unknown, but probably it is at least 1,000 (assuming at least 20 subpopulations of 50 or more adults). Population trends cannot be determined with certainty, but the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy have probably been relatively stable over the long term. Abundance probably has declined in some areas where the habitat has been degraded.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This lizard occurs in regions dominated by scrub desert, Joshua tree woodland, and the lower edge of the pinyon-juniper belt (Stebbins 1985). Most known locations are in canyon riparian zones below permanent springs; but individuals may range into talus slopes some distance from the immediate riparian zone (Good 1988, Jennings and Hayes 1994, Banta et al. 1996). Individuals have been found under willow thickets along watercourses, under shrubs in drier areas, and in rock slides. When inactive, the lizards hide underground, under stones or wood, or in crevices. Habitats in order of decreasing favourability: (1) along creeks with riparian vegetation, (2) along small springs with riparian vegetation, (3) near small springs in pinyon-juniper or Joshua tree woodland, (4) pinyon juniper and Joshua tree woodland in canyons or washes. Occupied riparian zones are typically only a few metres wide and less than three km long (Jennings and Hayes 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): According to Jennings and Hayes (1994), all but a few of the known populations occur on private lands and are currently at risk from mining, feral and domestic livestock grazing, and increasing off-road vehicle activity.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Enhanced protection of riparian zones in desert canyons would benefit this species. It appears not to be known from any protected areas, though it might occur in some.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Elgaria panamintina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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