Advertisement
Share

Letters to the Editor: California horny toads need love too

The Blainville's horned lizard is one of the endangered species in Griffith Park.
(Gerry Hans / Friends of Griffith Park)

To the editor: I am surprised that the excellent article on Texas horned lizards did not mention the sad fact that the same thing has happened here. Our own beloved Phrynosoma coronatum, the coast horned lizard, was common in the 1950s everywhere outside of cities. It is now a species of special concern and is extirpated almost everywhere. I have not seen one in decades.

My daughter, living in a thinly populated part of the high desert, saw a few until recently. Neither row crops nor fire ants can explain this. Cats are certainly part of the problem, but the lizard is gone even from cat-free wilderness. Lack of insects, buildup of poisons in the environment, and other predators could be important.

This adorable little guy desperately needs help.

E.N. Anderson, Riverside

::

To the editor: My family and I moved from Canada to Glendora in 1957. As a boy, I remember quite vividly catching horny toads around our house, and I have often wondered why I no longer see them. Now I know: They were less adaptable to human encroachment than other lizard species. Another sad commentary on what we humans are doing to the planet.

Roger Taylor, Brea

Advertisement

::

To the editor: I was surprised that The Times’ article on horny toads did not mention the existence of these lizards in California. Over the past years I have mentioned to my family that I had not seen them since I was a boy in the 1940s and ‘50s. We used to find them in the open fields of Riverside. The fields no longer exist, but the horny toads were there. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that Riverside grew from 30,000 inhabitants to over 300,000. Some animals need space. I remember that the toads were usually buried, and I don’t remember how we found them. They were almost invisible.

Patrick Read, Riverside


Advertisement