Texas Horned Lizards Hatch at San Antonio Zoo

Texas Horned Lizards Hatch at San Antonio Zoo

By Alese Underwood

 

 

 

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Zoo is helping boost the numbers for one of Texas’ most beloved reptiles.

  • Two dozen Texas horned lizards hatched at zoo
  • Species has drastically disappeared from native habitat
  • Zoo will reintroduce them into the wild

Last week two dozen Texas horned lizards hatched their way into the world.

“I like to think these guys are Texas’ most iconic reptile,” Kamryn Richard said.

Richard is a senior conservation tech at the Center for Conservation and Research at the San Antonio Zoo.

For two years, she and the team have been working to breed and preserve the state reptile of Texas.

“Lots of people that grew up in Texas refer to them as horny toads. They are actually lizards, but you can call them whatever you want as long as you love them,” she said.

Richard says this hatching is a major step forward for the Texas Horned Lizard Reintroduction Project. The now threatened species was once abundant in Texas, but have since drastically declined or disappeared altogether.

“Development as well as the introduction of fire ants which helped get rid of the native food these guys are used to, which is the Harvester Ants; so a whole range of factors, but mostly development,” she said.

When it comes to letting the lizards go into the wild, the center has a plan.

“So one of the ways we’ve come up with to actually track them after the fact is partnering with a dog trainer who is going to train the dogs to smell the lizards. We’re partnering with volunteers and hopefully rescue dogs. So we’re not looking for a specific breed or anything like that. It’s really whatever he sees as a good fit,” Richard said.

Once released, Richard says what the lizards bring to the table should also be a good fit.

“When landowners partner with us and they’re making changes to the landscape to help these guys, they’re also helping Quail and a bunch of other native species,” she said.

WOAI San Antonio Channel 4 News Report

S.A Zoo helping to save Texas Horned Lizards

by Michael Hernandez
Tuesday, June 25th 2019

For video on news report page Click Here

SAN ANTONIO—Here’s a quick quiz:

Do you know what the state reptile of Texas is?

It’s the Horned Lizard.

But did you also know that they are on the threatened species list?

So when I was a little boy one of the things that enjoyed doing most was going out and playing in the dirt and looking for horny toads! Maybe some of you all can relate to that and enjoyed doing the same thing.

And whatever you call them, horned lizards, horned frogs or horney toads as we used to, they are in trouble!

Andy Gluesenkamp, Director of Conservation for S.A. Zoo explains, “We have a climate controlled laboratory where we’re rearing captive born horned lizards to re-introduce into the landscape in places where they’ve disappeared years ago.”

Two dozen baby Texas horned lizards, recently hatched at the zoo will be re-introduced into selected spots when they’re three months old.

“If everything goes right we’ll have clutches of eggs that start hatching anywhere from last week to October and those are the babies that we’re going to putting back into the landscape,” says Gluesenkamp.

But you can’t just place them anywhere, you have to find some already out there.

Gren is a Dutch Shepard and to helps find other horned lizards.

Paul Bunker, Owner Chiron K9 explains,” It’s all positive reinforcement. So basically what we do is we teach Gren that if she finds the odor of scat or eggs or horned lizards she’ll receive a toy, so to her it’s a huge game.”

And with the help of Gren, the zoo is hoping to be able to hatch and release 100 horned lizards a year for the next three years and if so who knows, maybe the next generation will be able to have the same memories that I treasure.

Zoo Working to Redeem Population of Iconic Horned Lizard

Advanced K9 Medics Course

I was fortunate to attend a 16 hours Advanced K9 Medics course held in Pennsylvania. The course was theory and practical with a series of final assessments and a written exam.

I have completed K9 First Aid training before but what I like about this one was its no-nonsense life-saving skills taught. Enough to save a K9’s life, or at least keep it alive until professional assistance is reached.

The training was enhanced by the practical exercises and Techline Technologies ( https://www.techlinetechnologiesinc.com/ ) even had a K9 manikin which was remotely operated. It barked, growled and cried, would breathe, have a heartbeat, pulse, and open wounds, bleeding; all at the control of the instructor. This meant that as the scenario progressed the symptoms changed and tested your casualty awareness and response to the changing conditions. This training alone was of huge benefit as often time training is just one static scenario due to the availability of casualty stimulants. Being constantly tested in all aspects of casualty care meant you were provided realistic training scenarios and testing situations.

 

Topics covered:

Understand and explain the differences between human and canine anatomy Understand and

Explain differences between human and canine physiology Demonstrate Knowledge of the phases of care as per the CoTCCC Demonstrate Knowledge of all aspects of Canine “MARCH”

Demonstrate the ability to safely approach and restrain canine using appropriate techniques

Demonstrate the ability to perform a neurological assessment on canine Identify canine IM injection sites

Understand the canine vascular system

Demonstrate the ability to perform an “On the move assessment” Demonstrate the ability to perform a head to tail assessment

Understand canine’s respiratory system

Demonstrate the ability to obtain canine respiration rate

Demonstrate the ability to obtain a canine pulse

Demonstrate the ability to evaluate canine circulation

Demonstrate the ability. to obtain canine temperature

Demonstrate the ability to evaluate canine’s hydration level

Demonstrate the ability to care for canine minor bleeding

Demonstrate the ability to treat canine thoracic chest trauma

Demonstrate the ability to treat massive hemorrhage in canine Demonstrate the ability to manage a.canine’s compromised airway Demonstrate the ability to perform canine CPR

Understand what bloat is and how it affects canine

Demonstrate the ability to treat canine for bloat

Demonstrate the ability to start intravenous access on canine

Demonstrate the ability to gain intravenous access on canine

Understand heat emergencies in canine

Understand concepts of Evaporation, Conduction, Convection, Radiation, and Activity in canines Demonstrate treatment of heat emergency in canine

Demonstrate appropriate treatment of ocular trauma

Demonstrate appropriate splinting of canine extremities

Understand analgesia considerations and dosages in canine

Understand clinical signs and treatment of toxic ingestion in canines

Canine Research Facility

I am pleased to announce I have entered a lease agreement with Global Training Academy, Somerset, Texas and have established my own Canine Research Facility. As well as accessibility to 70 acres of training grounds, 30 search vehicles, 120 kennels, imprint buildings and a classroom I have also established specific locations for Chiron K9.

Canine Research Facility

This is a purpose-built research facility designed for the use in canine trials under the observation of scientists and data collectors. The facility includes a clean room with assisted fan extraction and air-conditioning. There is a separate room for target and distraction aid preparation and storage. There is a large observation area including an alcove for the use of video capture. The open space design, lighting, and power sockets means experiments and trials can be designed as needed with plenty of flexibility in function. With the addition of a fridge and freezer training aids requiring specific storage can be accommodated.

Odor Carousel

A specific piece of equipment is the Odor Carousel. Imported from the UK this device is specifically designed for specialized imprinting of canines. Made of medical-grade stainless steel it can be cleaned effectively and efficiently.

The carousel presents odors in a consistent manner for imprint training and desensitization to non-target odors. In a research trial, it offers the capability to present 12 odors, 1x target: 11x non-target with consistent repetition. The carousel additionally offers the option of 12x non-target presentations to ensure false positives are discounted.

  • Dramatically speed up your training program.
  • Consistently shapes dogs in a fast way.
  • Desensitizes non-target objects.
  • Increases focus on the target odor.
  • Presents a moving target if needed
  • Increase the number of choices.
  • The probability of hitting the same target 3 times consecutively is 1700: 1  using a 12-arm.
  • It’s height-adjustable to suit medium to large dogs.
  • Multiple uses with interchangeable stainless steel arms that can be changed for vapor systems, biomedical, universal tubes and sealed containers.

Sub-Surface Odor Grid

Originally designed and constructed for sub-surface detection of oil this area can be utilized for a variety of targets. The area contains 50 vertical tubes ranging between 2-3ft (5x 3ft, 54x 2 ft) 2″ in diameter. The pre-position tubes have naturalized in the environment and can be “loaded” with 1 3/4″ tubes containing soil and soil with targets. This allows the canine to be imprinted on aged sub-surface targets down to 3ft in a variety of configurations. Additionally, there is over an acres area adjacent which can be utilized for training/trials or as part of a search before encountering a sub-surface target in the odor grid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department of Interior Innovation Award Winner!

I am pleased to announce that Chiron K9 was awarded a Department of Interior award for innovation.

A total of 294 teams from around the world submitted potential solutions to a Department of Interior request for assistance. Chiron K9’s proposed solution was selected as an award winner.

At this stage, the proposal is undergoing evaluation for field trials and once they are completed I will be in a position to elaborate on the innovation award.

I am pleased to have been selected in what was a very challenging solicitation opportunity.

This award underlines Chiron K9’s motto:

“Success Through Innovation”