Kalahari tree skinks associate with sociable weaver nests despite African pygmy falcons

In the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa sociable weaver nests are a prominent feature in the landscape. These large nests typically occupy camelthorn trees and provide a refuge to a range of organisms, including Kalahari tree skinks (Trachylepis spilogaster). They also provide refuge for a predator of the skink: the African pygmy falcon, which . . . → Read More: Kalahari tree skinks associate with sociable weaver nests despite African pygmy falcons

Dispatches from the field: tough times for desert lizards in parts of Xinjiang Province, China

We have just recently finished working on a particularly interesting lizard: the toad-headed agama Phrynocephalus axillaris. We found a population on the gravel plains just west of Ruoqiang, in central Xinjiang Province, while searching for another species, P. forsythii. On that topic, P. forsythii has proven to be something of an achilles heel for . . . → Read More: Dispatches from the field: tough times for desert lizards in parts of Xinjiang Province, China

Hot off the press! Gene flow and habitat use in coppertail skinks

Siobhan Dennison, in collaboration with Shannon Smith and Adam Stow have just published a paper examining patterns of gene flow between populations of coppertail skinks on rocky ridgetops in NSW. This study is important because bush rock removal is a serious threat to many rock-dwelling species locally in NSW. Their findings suggest that local . . . → Read More: Hot off the press! Gene flow and habitat use in coppertail skinks

Can lizards swim?

I recently visited my old field site at Augrabies Falls National Park, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The park is situated on the Orange River, not too far from the border with Namibia. I was in for a bit of a shock. The river was in flood and at its highest . . . → Read More: Can lizards swim?