SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — The San Antonio Zoo said it marked another success in its effort to breed and preserve the state reptile of Texas.
The Center for Conservation and Research at the zoo announced Wednesday another successful Texas horned lizard hatching. It said the lizards will be released into the wild in the fall.
In a press release, the zoo called the arrival of the 34 hatchlings, a “tremendous step forward” for the Texas Horned Lizard Reintroduction Project.
Since launching the project in 2017, the Center for Conservation and Research team has used Geographic Information System (GIS) data, genetics and current knowledge about horned lizard ecology and distribution to release large numbers of captive-born horned lizards into suitable habitats.
The zoo uses a specially trained dog to detect and track lizards to monitor them after they are released.
“I am incredibly proud of the work we are doing to bring back the beloved Texas horned lizard,” said Tim Morrow, president and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo. “While we have a multitude of global conservation projects, it’s especially rewarding to be able to secure a future for wildlife right here in Texas for a state icon.”
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the lizards can be found in arid and semiarid habitats in open areas with sparse plant cover. Because horned lizards dig for hibernation, nesting and insulation purposes, they commonly are found in loose sand or loamy soils.
Texas horned lizards are listed as threatened species.