4 thoughts on “SA Zoo’s ‘Factory’ Gearing up to Spike Horned Lizard Population

    • Thanks for the question, Melody! I spoke with a zoo employee, and they said that you can send a check addressed to the zoo with “for Horned Lizard Conservation” or “for Department of Conservation and Research” in the memo line or in an attached letter.

  1. Good News, Bad News, and a Little More

    The good: all that was written about the people and the organizations who are working on behalf of the horned lizard and the red ants. Where I grew up both of those species were a familiar sight on our property (as were roadrunners and field mice). Recently and on the same property, happy to say, I’ve seen a couple of ant colonies, and my wife spotted a horned lizard two weeks ago. This article has inspired us to defend and preserve those ant colonies.

    The bad: yes, fire ants, but also all of the human behaviors that have contributed to the decimation of the lizards and the ants; our addiction to sprawl without giving back to the land sufficiently; chemical-based farming and ranching. Unfortunately humans, given their introduction of the fire ant into the deep South, are the main culprits here, and of course this is not the only story at hand. We’ve decimated other species the world over.

    A little more: this article reminded me of a recent front cover of Smithsonian magazine that I had seen. There was a large picture of a giraffe, and a caption that (to summarize) read something like ‘Giraffe populations are plummeting; will scientists be able to learn everything that they need to learn in order to save them’? That was the gist of the message.
    The problem that we have in saving species is that those species are never the primary focus in terms of our culture at large. Those species are always secondary or tertiary concerns. If they weren’t secondary or tertiary, then their populations would not have become threatened in the first place. What this means is that our way of life – always the primary concern – thrives on the destruction of others.

    My response to the Smithsonian cover: to survive, giraffes do not need scientists to learn everything they can possibly learn about them. To survive and live traditional and healthy lives giraffes really only need two things: 1) they need humans to leave them alone, and 2) they needs humans to leave their habitat alone. It really is that simple.

    Luck to the giraffes, however. Because it is the economic system that is always primary. And given our behaviors in said system, I have to say luck to all things and places that are wild and natural.

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