Biology ETDs

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Twenty-two transects were made across the Rio Bonito and Rio Hondo valleys, Lincoln County, New Mexico, to determine the slope of the land, exposure, and elevation for the vegetational associations. The plant associations are the riparian, mesquite-grassland, cholla-grassland, cliff and talus, mountain-mahogany, pinyon-juniper, and hilltop. The elevation of the area ranges from 4,640 to 6,940 feet. The study includes the streams, valley floors, hillsides, and hilltops.

Most of the 314 herptile specimens collected were in the riparian, cliff and talus, and grassland associations. Twenty-four species were collected. Sceloporus poinsetti was frequently collected, providing a range extension for this species.

The local economy, based on ranching and fruit-growing, has affected both plant herptile distribution. Overgrazed areas have fewer available habitats for herptiles and over-grazing results in the invasion of plant species unpalatable to grazing animals.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

William George Degenhardt

Second Committee Member

Loren D. Potter

Third Committee Member

William Jacob Koster

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Biology Commons