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Mexico’s Hidden Reptiles

July 2, 2014

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

Transcript

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.

HIRSHON:

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.