Showing posts with label Sceloporus arenicolus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sceloporus arenicolus. Show all posts

Monday, February 28, 2011

Here We Go Again: Jobs Vs an Endangered Lizard

There really has to be a better way to frame issues regarding threatened and endangered species and the economy. Otherwise, the economy will win every time. A story on NewsWest9, a West Texas media outlet is likely to get every uneducated, unemployed Texan pissed-off and the oil and gas lobby actively working with private landowners against the lizard. The Dune Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) is being considered for the endangered species list. The phrynosomatid lizard inhabits Shinnery Oak Dunes in West Texas and New Mexico and some of this habitat coincides with oil and gas hotspots. Really guys, this is so 1970's. Biodiversity needs to be seen as the valuable resource it is, one as valuable as oil and gas. And really, oil and gas needs to be seen as the energy source of the 19th and 20th centuries not the present century. The article quotes Morris Burns - as saying, "We're going to cut out some wells that would be drilled," oil and gas consultant, Morris Burns, said. "We're going to reduce the number of wells drilled in this formation. This is gonna cut out jobs." Morris, get with the program - you need some lessons in the importance biodiversity and a new job - consider being a consultant for wind and solar power, west Texas has plenty of both! Stop trying to scare people. You are doing society and the environment a great disservice. Be sure to watch the video that accompanies this article - talk about alarmist!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

USFWS Proposes Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Endangered

An edited press release.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) took action today (December 15, 2010) to protect the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) by proposing it as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has also determined that critical habitat for the dunes sagebrush lizard is prudent — but not determinable — at this time. A 60-day public comment period will begin upon publication of this proposal in the Federal Register.

The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others. The Service has found that the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard is presently in danger of extinction throughout its entire range, based on the immediacy, severity, and scope of the ongoing significant threats of habitat loss and fragmentation.

The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard faces immediate and significant threats due to oil and gas activities, and herbicide treatments. The species is highly restricted in its range, and the threats occur throughout its range. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to oil and gas development is a measurable factor impacting the species due to the removal of shinnery oak and creation of roads and pads, pipelines, and power lines.

The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, found in southeastern New Mexico and adjacent west Texas, is a small, light brown lizard with a maximum snout-to-vent length of 2.8 inches for females and 2.6 inches for males. This lizard is a habitat specialist native to a small area of shinnery oak dunes extending from the San Juan Mesa in northeastern Chaves County, Roosevelt County, through eastern Eddy and southern Lea Counties in New Mexico. In Texas, the dunes sagebrush lizard is found in a narrow band of shinnery oak dunes in Gaines, Ward, Winkler, and Andrews Counties.

The Service is requesting comments or information from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. The agency will consider comments received or postmarked on or before February 14, 2011. Also, the Service must receive requests within 45 days for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown below by January 28, 2011. More information is available online at