• Glowing sunset view from overlook - Photo by Jason Barnett Photography

    Big South Fork

    National River & Recreation Area KY,TN

Eastern Slender Glass Lizard

Eastern glass lizard

Eastern Slender Glass Lizard


The eastern slender glass lizard, Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus, is a legless lizard that reaches the northern part of its range in the Big South Fork area. It extends a little farther north in Mammoth Cave region of west-central Kentucky. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Douglas E. Stephens (1985) reported several for McCreary County but listed none for the BSFNRRA. This species is listed as "deemed in need of management" in Tennessee and "threatened" in Kentucky. A recent inventory of reptiles and amphibians of Big South Fork NRRA (Stephens 2008) located only one individual of this species in the park. The large female was held in captivity for photographing then returned to the site and released. Glass lizards are burrowers and need sandy soils. They tend to occur in open areas, such as fields, open woods and powerline right-of-ways. Their population seems to flourish in areas that are maintained by periodic prescribed fire. The absence of fire has resulted in population declines in many areas. An increased focus on prescribed burning in the BSFNRRA will increase populations of this species and other that require this type of habitat.

Did You Know?

Archeology dig occuring at Big South Fork

In terms of total sites, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is the most important archaeological location in the Southeast Region of the National Park Service. The 1,335 documented archaeological sites at Big South Fork represent only 20% of the estimated total for the park. More...