Sceloporus occidentalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Phrynosomatidae

Scientific Name: Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard, 1852
Common Name(s):
English Western Fence Lizard

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hollingsworth, B. & Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the western United States and northwestern Mexico. Its range extends from Washington and southwestern Idaho south through Oregon, California, Nevada, and western Utah to northwestern Baja California (Bell and Price 1996, Grismer 2002, Stebbins 2003), and disjunctly south to Isla de Cedros of the Pacific coast of Baja California (Grismer and Mellink, 1994). Its elevational range extends from sea level to about 3,353 m (11,000 feet) (Bell and Price 1996, Stebbins 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a common species is represented by hundreds of collection sites (e.g., see Nussbaum et al. 1983, Bell and Price 1996). The total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000, and probably numbers many millions. Its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and population size are large and probably relatively stable (or slowly declining).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This lizard occupies various habitats, including grassland, sagebrush, woodland, open coniferous forest, rocky canyons, talus slopes, fence rows, etc. (Stebbins 2003). This species is not found in severe desert areas, but it comes close on mountain slopes (Stebbins 2003). Usually it is on the ground or on low perches (e.g., logs, fences), but sometimes climbs well up into taller bushes or trees. Eggs are buried in loose soil. It is largely tolerant of human disturbed areas. On Isla de Cedros, it is found in pine forest in the upper elevations of the island.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified. Locally, conversion of habitat to intensive human uses have eliminated or reduced some populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in many national parks, monuments, and similarly well-protected areas. No direct conservation measures are needed for this species as a whole.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Bell, E.L. and Price, A.H. 1996. Sceloporus occidentalis. Catalogue of North American Amphibians and Reptiles 631: 1-17.

Grismer, L.L. 1989. Sceloporus occidentalis biseriatus: geographic distribution. Herpetological Review 20: 75.

Grismer, L.L. 2002. Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California, Including its Pacific Islands and the Islands in the Sea of Cort├ęs. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California.

Grismer, L.L. and Mellink, E. 1994. The addition of Sceloporus occidentalis to the herpetofauna of Isla de Cedros, Baja California, Mexico, and its historical and taxonomic implications. Journal of Herpetology 28: 120-126.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Nussbaum, R.A., Brodie Jr., E.D. and Storm, R.M. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho. 332 pp.

Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Weins, J.J. and Reeder, T.W. 1997. Phylogeny of the spiny lizards (Sceloporus) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Herpetological Monographs 11: 1-101.

Welsh, H.H. 1988. An ecogeographic analysis of the herpetofauna of the Sierra San Pedro Martir region, Baja California with a contribution to the biogeography of the Baja California herpetofauna. Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, 4th series 46: 1-72.

Citation: Hollingsworth, B. & Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Sceloporus occidentalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T64131A12747877. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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