Implications of Global Climate Change on the Lizard Sauromalus ater in the Mojave
AuthorTodd, Jennifer Noelani
AdvisorTracy, C. Richard
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Recently, scientists have predicted that many ectotherm populations are at a high risk for extinction. Extinction hypotheses for lizards are based upon the concept that thermoregulatory behavior by lizards may be constrained due to decreased activity periods as caused by warmer air temperatures. To determine risks of extinction or extirpation, a series of population-specific processes must be understood including the ability to adjust physiology (incl, acclimation and acclimatization), to migrate to new locations, to adjust activity, or evolve new thermal biologies. Chuckwalla populations in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts are likely to be facing extinction threats due to warming, but thermal models and recent research suggest that ectotherms may not be constrained by activity time, yet may face the largest threats by other factors caused by the predicted climate change.