A couple of weekends ago my students and I took our first big group outing to our field site in the Carrizo Plain. I spent Saturday with the lizard crew, catching and marking lizards as part of a long-term study.
Ben and Kelsey photographing a pretty blue male Sceloporus:
Sunday I joined the snake crew to track the rattlesnakes. About half of our snakes were out basking, and we found several new snakes as well. Here's a large male on SnakeOut Hill (so named by the students because so much snake amor has been witnessed there).
All of the snakes we captured, whether they were radiotagged or new captures, were well under normal body weight. In fact, the lizards seemed quite skinny as well. The drought last year took a terrible toll on the animals, and I really hope they recover this year so we can see how their movements and behaviors change.
Stay tuned for some snake amor photos soon! It will be happening any day now.