18. Population ecology of spiny tailed lizard (Saara hardwickii) from lesser Cholistan desert, Bahawalpur, Punjab

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Sangam Khalil, Asrar Nisar , Tanveer Hussain Ali Hassan


Current study was conducted to collect data on population ecology of spiny tailed lizard (Saara hardwickii) in lesser Cholistan desert, district Bahawalpur.  The density of lizard recorded was based on the observations of selected habitats and on presence of active burrows.  Adults (23%) were lower in the population followed by juveniles (35%) and sub-adults (42%) in number. Spiny tailed has territorial behavior and showed wide fluctuations with varying temperature. Lizards found to be agile in morning during hot season particularly during early hours of the day. During breeding season, lizards remain close to their burrows. They run quickly on the inappreciable disturbance from predators and back to their burrows while feeding.  During study; it was observed that lizard eat its own shed skin to fulfill nutrient requirements. In various parts of the country including Cholistan, these lizards are frequently collected by illegal means and their fat and oil sold for medicine purpose. Poachers capture lizards and keep them in captivity by the brutal procedure of breaking the backbone. Detail study is required on ecology of spiny tailed lizard for its conservation in Cholistan desert; one of main area of its distribution in Pakistan.

Keywords:  Cholistan; Density; Ecology; Saara Hardwicke; Spiny lizard


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