BOB HIRSHON (host):
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.