2,801Grants to


Tanner's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus tanneri)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 172516436

Ecology, geographic distribution and conservation status of Tanner's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus tanneri) an endemic Mexican species

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 172516436) - Tanner's Spiny Lizard - Awarded $5,834 on October 25, 2017

Mexico is one of the ten countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world. Comparatively, reptiles are the most diverse vertebrate group, and specifically the lizards of the genus Sceloporus have the major species number of species in Mexico. However, information of biology and ecology of several reptile species are virtually unknown. Such is the case of Tanner's spiny lizard (Sceloporus tanneri), which is classified as data deficient by the IUCN. This Mexican endemic lizard is only known from the type locality (Santa Rosa Lachao) and three individuals form Sierra Sur in Oaxaca State. The Tanner's Spiny Lizard is recorded in semi-deciduous dry forest with association of cloud forest, this latter habitat are highly threatened in Mexico for the change of land use principally for agriculture and cattle raising.

 This project will provide the first key ecological data of the Tanner's Spiny Lizard, as well as natural history observations. Additionally, the collect tissues (i.e. 5mm sample of tail) will allow determining the phylogenetic position of the species in further analyses, information that is currently unknown (Leaché et al. 2016). Moreover, since other Sceloporus species have been studied in more detail about its ecology, reproduction (Sites et al. 1992; Jiménez-Arcos, Sanabria-Urbán, and Cueva del Castillo 2016) and the extinction risk due to climate change (Sinervo et al. 2010), the information obtained of Tanner's Spiny Lizard will be comparable and extremely useful to evaluate the conservation status.

Determine critical ecological requirements and distribution boundaries of Tanner's Spiny Lizard.
Provide the information analyses of current conservation status and threats of the species in the region.
Reassess the conservation status of the target species using the information gathered directly in the field and provide the appropriate category of risk for the IUCN Red List.
Promote conservation awareness in focal communities of Sierra Sur, Oaxaca State where Tanner's Spiny Lizard occur.


Jiménez-Arcos, Víctor H., Salomón Sanabria-Urbán, and Raúl Cueva del Castillo. 2016. "The Interplay between Natural and Sexual Selection in the Evolution of Sexual Size Dimorphism in Sceloporus Lizards (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae)." Ecology and Evolution 7: 905-17.

Leaché, Adam D., Barbara L. Banbury, Charles W. Linkem, and Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca. 2016. "Phylogenomics of a Rapid Radiation: Is Chromosomal Evolution Linked to Increased Diversification in North American Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)?" BMC Evolutionary Biology 16 (1). BMC Evolutionary Biology: 63.

Sinervo, B., F. Mendez-de-la-Cruz, D. B. Miles, B.
Heulin, E. Bastiaans, M. Villagran-Santa Cruz, R. Lara-Resendiz, et al. 2010. "Erosion of Lizard Diversity by Climate Change and Altered Thermal Niches." Science 328 (5980): 894-99.

Sites, J W, J W Archie, C J Cole, and O F Villela. 1992. "A Review of Phylogenetic Hypotheses for Lizards of the Genus Sceloporus (Phrynosomatidae) - Implications for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 213: 1-110.

Project 172516436 location - Mexico, North America