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FWP: be alert for Greater Short-horned Lizards

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 31, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Montana of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is asking for the public’s assistance in keeping track of the Greater Short-horned Lizard.

If you see one of these lizards, you're asked to let FWP know its location, the date you saw it, and a photo if possible.

The Greater Short-horned Lizard is a “species of greatest inventory need," meaning FWP does not have enough information on it to have a baseline on the lizard’s main locations within the state.

The Greater Short-horned Lizard is often mistaken for a toad but can be distinguished by its heart-shaped head with horns, as well as its tail. They tend to be the size of your hand, no larger than a cell phone, and can be found in grasslands or sparsely vegetated areas.

“The public’s observations have been the best resource for us,as we’re trying to develop this good methodology,” said Brandi Skone, Region 4 Non-game Wildlife Biologist for FWP. “Really we found a lot more observations coming in from the public has been a way to kind of boost our database.”

The lizards are not very dangerous to humans, but FWP still suggests you respectfully observe them from a distance.

You can report a sighting via email or phone, or use nature apps such as iNaturalist or the Motana National Heritage Program’s app.

Montana FWP can be contacted by email at fwpais@mt.gov or phone at (406) 444-2440.

Greater Short-horned Lizard
Greater Short-horned Lizard