Oklahoma's scorching summer temperatures may cause many wildlife to retreat, but species like the Texas horned lizard enjoy soaking in the sun's rays. "Summer is the best season to watch for reptiles like Texas horned lizards; they often bask in open, highly visible, areas to warm their body temperature," said Jena Donnell, information specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Wildlife Diversity Program. "And these lizards, also known as horned toads, are one of our state's most popular reptiles."
To turn your passion for these sun loving lizards into action this summer the Wildlife Diversity Program offers three simple ideas:
- Tag your ride with a Texas horned lizard license plate
"One of the easiest ways to let others know that you love Texas horned lizards is by adding a lizard license plate to your car," Donnell said. "This design is just one of nine wildlife plates available from the Wildlife Department
." More than half of the $38 fee ($36.50 for renewals) goes directly to the Wildlife Diversity Program and is used in nongame conservation efforts.
- Share your Texas horned lizard sightings with the Wildlife Department
"When you share your sightings, you're helping our biologists track these extraordinary reptiles," Donnell said. "Let us know when and where you've been spotting Texas horned lizards on our citizen science page at wildlifedepartment.com
Sightings can also be shared at the Wildlife Department's upcoming Wildlife Expo, to be held at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, September 23 and 24. "Tinker Air Force Base will be bringing live lizards to the event to give people a chance to see them first hand and learn about their daily life," Donnell said. The lizards are part of the base's long-term research focusing on lizard movements.
"Ants and other small insects are vital to supporting Texas horned lizards," Donnell said. "You can help lizards and other wildlife by thinking about their next meal before you apply pesticide or change their habitat."