Telemetry of the lizard species Gambelia sila at Carrizo Plain National Monument
At Carrizo National Monument, California, USA (35.19140N, 119.79290W) within the San Joaquin Desert, a 5 km2 was identified for ecological research. This site was comprised of a foundation shrub species Mormon tea, Ephedra californica, other mixed annual and perennial vegetation, and was occupied by the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Gambelia sila. For three years from 2016-2018, up to 30 individual lizards were tracked using telemetry each summer when this species was primarily active. Small VHF radio transmitters were attached to individuals (Holohil model BD‐2, frequency 151–152 MHz) and were relocated using a 3‐element Yagi antenna with a Model R‐100 telemetry receiver (Communications Specialists, Inc., Orange, CA, USA). Each instance was geotagged to within 5m, and specific ecological elements of habitat including shrub or open canopy microsites and micro-topography were recorded. A total of 3553 relocations were recorded, and only 6 outlier relocation data points outside the 5km2 study area were excluded. At each sampling instance, the association of the individual animal was also coded as shrub or open defined as within 5 m of a visible shrub estimated using a laser rangefinder - Bushnell Outdoor Products, Overland Park, KS, USA and as above or belowground.