Reptiles and Amphibians
NPS Photo/ Warren Tam
Cabrillo National Monument is home to 12 species of herptiles – six species of snakes, five species of lizards, and one amphibian, the garden slender salamander.
Long-term monitoring of these species began in 1995 by Dr. Robert Fisher (SDSU, then USGS), as part of a larger scale study of herptile species in southern California. NPS took over monitoring at Cabrillo National Monument in 2002 to continue assessments of possible decline in species’ numbers. Because Point Loma peninsula is island-like (surrounded on three sides by ocean, and to the north, cut off by development), and due to the species' limited home ranges, these animals are extremely susceptible to population decline and extirpation (no longer existing in a particular area where they historically were found). In fact, eight reptile species have already been extirpated from the peninsula: Coronado island skink, red diamond rattlesnake, yellow-bellied racer, coast horned lizard, red coachwhip, two-striped gartersnake, California glossy snake, and the Western long-nosed snake.
For more information visit [http://science.nature.nps.gov/IM/units/medn/index.cfm]