So what were we up to in the Bahamas?

Well, the Thanksgiving holidays got the better of me and I didn’t get the next post up as quickly as I was hoping. However, now that cold weather has really settled in in New England, another few photos from warmer climes are a welcome distraction.

As I introduced last post, I just spent a week on the island of North Andros looking for lizards. While the accommodations were cushy, the work was tough and we spent most of the daylight hours (rain or shine) looking for sites and lizards.

A Brown anole, Anoles sagrei, I found on Andros

The research was part of a larger project looking at the widespread Brown Anole, Anolis sagrei. This species is found in a wide range of habitats in the Bahamas ranging from mangroves, “beach scrub” with low bushes and sandy soil, primary coppice, which are remnant patches of closed canopy forest, and secondary coppice, forests in earlier stages of succession.

Mangroves from one of our sites.

Our target was to catch 10 males and females from each of the four habitat types on Andros. Unfortunately, that goal was made trickier by terrible weather:

Driving Rain
Driving rain

Our first two days were spent largely jumping out of the car to catch lizards at a new site, only to dive back in as the clouds opened up and dumped rain on us. We did manage to catch quite a few lizards in drizzle, which was a surprise for me given how wimpy my Greek lizards are in bad weather – any hint of rain and they’re running for burrows. Catching the numbers we needed though was almost impossible in bad weather so the first two days were spent largely driving the island looking for good sites with our fingers crossed that one of the days would clear up and give us a good shot at catching our quota.

Lush primary coppice. A beautiful habitat but tough for lizard spotting!

Luckily, on day three we caught our break. We had beautiful sunny weather and hot temperatures that brought the lizards out looking for food. We polished off 3 habitat types in that day alone! It was a long day of catching but felt great to make that progress after the first couple of slower days.

More Mangroves
One more look at Mangroves because I didn’t get good pictures of the other habitat types given the raininess. 

This project has been covered pretty extensively over on Anole Annals. You can read more posts about it here. Up next are posts about what we were measuring on the lizards and more pictures of the lizards themselves!

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