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Texas horned lizards topic of Master Naturalists meeting

Baby Texas horned lizard with GPS tracking device

A researcher holds a Texas horned lizard hatchling with a GPS device attached to its back. The tiny lizard was released into the wild as part of the Texas Horned Lizard Reintroduction Project, subject of the March 4 meeting of the Highland Lakes chapter of Texas Master Naturalists at Trinity Episcopal Church in Marble Falls. Courtesy photo

In collaboration with the Fort Worth Zoo and Texas Christian University (Go, Horned Frogs!), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists have managed to breed horned lizards in captivity for the first time.

Find about the Texas Horned Lizard Reintroduction Project at the Wednesday, March 4, meeting of the Highland Lakes chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, which begins at 1 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 909 Avenue D in Marble Falls.

A member of a team of Central Texas scientists working to bring horned lizards back to the Texas Hill Country, guest speaker Nathan Rains will discuss how GPS devices are attached to tiny horned lizard hatchlings so they can be tracked in the wild. Rains is a diversity biologist for TPWD and in charge of the program.

The official state reptile is “so ugly it’s cute,” Rains told The Picayune Magazine in a story published January 2020 about the program. He’ll talk more about the 2-year-old project at the March 4 meeting, which is free and open to the public.

After the presentation, members of the Master Naturalists chapter will hold a business meeting to hear reports from the Friends of Inks Lake State Park, the Friends of Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society, the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association, the Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center, the Highland Lakes chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and the Llano Uplift Archaeological Society.

For more information about the Highland Lakes Master Naturalists, visit the group’s website.

And if Rains doesn’t mention it during the presentation, ask him about why horned toads squirt blood out of their eyes!