Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Incidental Monitoring for Gila Monsters (Heloderma suspectum)
Southwest Region, November 15, 2006
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Gila Monster cuaght near San Bernardino NWR
Gila Monster cuaght near San Bernardino NWR - Photo Credit: n/a
Glia Monster Caught near Leslie Canyon NWR
Glia Monster Caught near Leslie Canyon NWR - Photo Credit: n/a

The refuge has been doing incidental monitoring of Gila Monsters since 2000.  We recently completed the monitoring for this year and captured 14 individuals with two of those being recaptures.  When captured, a GPS reading is taken for the location and the Gila Monster receives a PIT tag, is weighed, measured, and has a photograph taken of their dorsal pattern (each pattern is unique).  The individual is then relesed at the site of capture.  Since the incidental monitoring has been going on 65 Gila Monsters have been captured or collected (in the case of dead animals collected for specimens) .  Of those, 11 have been recaptures, three of them having been recaptured twice over the course of the monitoring effort.  From the data collected from recaptured animals we can learn movement patterns, survivorship, and general health related issues (weight and growth).  Very little is known about the Gila Monster and this study helps get more information out into the scientific communtiy for these rare animals.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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