Ecological Services
Conserving the Nature of America in the Southwest Region
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Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

Image of Dune Sagebrush Lizard
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
Photo credit: USFWS

Landmark Conservation Agreements Keep Dunes Sagebrush Lizard off the Endangered Species List in NM, TX

June 2012
WASHINGTON – As a result of unprecedented commitments to voluntary conservation agreements now in place in New Mexico and Texas that provide for the long-term conservation of the dunes sagebrush lizard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the species does not need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

News Release (60 kb PDF)
Final Determination (300kb PDF)
ECOS Species Profile
PECE Analysis (200kb PDF)
PECE Appendix 1 (2.3mb PDF)
PECE Appendix 2 (2.8mb PDF)

Photo of Dune Sagebrush Lizard
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
Photo credit: USFWS
Photo of Dune Sagebrush Lizard
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
Photo credit: USFWS
Photo of Dune Sagebrush Lizard
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
Photo credit: USFWS

Service Signs Conservation Agreement with Texas Comptroller and Reopens Public Comment Period for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

February 2012
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has signed a Candidate Conservation Agreement with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts that provides for the conservation of the dunes sagebrush lizard.

The Service will reopen the Public Comment Period for 15 days beginning on Febrary 24. 2012. Written comments should be received on or before March 12, 2012. For more information, see the News Release below.

News Release (140kb PDF)
Texas Conservation Plan (2.5mb PDF)


Fish and Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

April 2011
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), after numerous requests, has reopened the public comment period for 30 days on the December 13, 2010 proposed listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard. This comment period will begin with the publication of this announcement in the Federal Register.

The Service will hold public hearings in Texas and New Mexico. The first will be on April 27, 2011, in the Midland Center & Centennial Plaza, 105 N. Main Street, Midland, Texas, 79701. The second will be held on April 28, 2011, at the ENMU-Roswell Performing Arts Center, 64 University Blvd., Roswell, NM. In each location we will hold a public informational session from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by a public hearing from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

News Release (120kb PDF)
Q&As (230kb PDF)
Literature Cited for Listing Proposal (90kb PDF)
Federal Register Reopening Comment Period (50kb PDF)


Peer Review

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the dunes sagebrush lizard ( Sceloporus arenicolus ) as Endangered throughout it's range in southeastern New Mexico and adjacent southwest Texas. Because of your expertise in lizard ecology or conservation biology, we would like your review of this proposed rule. Peer reviewers will not be asked to provide recommendations on the classification of the species, but will be asked to comment specifically on the quality of any information and analyses used or relied on in the review; identify oversights, omissions, and inconsistencies; provide advice on reasonableness of judgments made from the scientific evidence; ensure that scientific uncertainties are clearly identified and characterized, and that potential implications of uncertainties for the technical conclusions drawn are clear; and provide advice on the strengths and limitation of the overall product. We will use the information received from the peer review in the final rule.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register today (Dec. 13, 2010), and the peer review process will commence once all of the peer review panel has been determined.

Click HERE to go to the Southwest Region Peer Review website.

Troy L. Best, PhD
Professor and Curator of Mammals
Auburn University Read Review
Lauren Chan, PhD Department of Biology
Duke University
Read Review
Toby J. Hibbitts, PhD
Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles
Texas A&M University Read Review
Travis R. Robbins, PhD Department of Biology
The Pennsylvania State University
Read Review
Howard Snell, PhD
Professor & Curator
Department of Biology &
Museum of Southwestern Biology
University of New Mexico
Read Review

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

December 2010
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) took action today to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard by proposing it as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has also determined that critical habitat for the dunes sagebrush lizard is prudent — but not determinable — at this time. The dunes sagebrush lizard faces immediate and significant threats due to oil and gas activities, and herbicide treatments. The species is highly restricted in its range, and the threats occur throughout its range. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to oil and gas development is a measurable factor impacting the species due to the removal of shinnery oak and creation of roads and pads, pipelines, and power lines.

News Release (70kb PDF)
Federal Register Notice


Species Information

Click HERE to see the species profile, including general information, life history, candidate information, conservation plan summaries and Federal Register documents.


2008 CCA for Lesser Prairie-Chicken and Sand Dune Lizard in New Mexico (560kb PDF)
Last updated: July 14, 2016