Habitat restoration and corridors creation to enhance conservation of the Pampean sand-dune lizard

Germán Tettamanti

The Pampean sand-dune lizard, which is endemic to the Pampean coastal dunes of Argentina, is highly sensitive to modifications to its habitat. Isolated subpopulations of this lizard have been cornered to a few patches of dunes due to the habitat fragmentation caused by unregulated urban expansion, plantation of exotic plants and degradation due to transit of vehicles in sand dunes. This situation has turned the sand-dune lizard into one of the most endangered species in the Pampean grasslands and it is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. With the overall goal of ensuring the long-lasting viability of the sand-dune lizard, the project aims to start improving the habitat status of this species using a set of management actions aimed at creating safe corridors, habitat restoration and the promotion of natural reserves. To achieve this purpose, the team will  i) experimentally test the creation of a corridor (1 x 0.3 km), ii) restore a patch of habitat (1 ha), and iii) create a reserve near to a recent current urban development. These actions have been listed in the conservation strategy for the sand dune lizard and will improve the conservation status of this species.