Show Details

Mexico’s Hidden Reptiles

July 2, 2014

Scientists discover previously unknown populations of endangered reptiles high in the mountains above Baja, Mexico.



Mexico’s sky islands. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Many reptile species are endangered around the world, but whenever a new population is discovered, there’s reason for hope. On a recent expedition to the mountains high above Baja, California, scientists from the United States and Mexico discovered new populations of the endangered San Lucan leaf-toed gecko and the San Lucan alligator lizard. San Diego Natural History Museum curator of herpetology Bradford Hollingsworth was on the team.

BRADFORD HOLLINGSWOTH (San Diego Natural History Museum):

Species that we thought were confined to one area are actually in these new areas that have been very poorly explored. And these are sky islands in the middle of a desert, and that type of habitat will harbor isolated populations.


If a catastrophic event were to wipe out one isolated population, a back-up population could help a species avoid extinction. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.