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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Herpetological Inventory of Naval Air Station Fallon, Churchill County, Nevada

  • Author(s): Rose, Jonathan P
  • Miano, Oliver J
  • Cottle, Gary R
  • Lovich, Robert E
  • Palmer, Robert L
  • Todd, Brian D
  • et al.

Much of the western United States is managed by state and federal agencies for multiple uses, including recreation, grazing, extraction, and defense. Biological inventories are integral to proper management and conservation of biodiversity on these lands. We surveyed for amphibians and reptiles occurring on Naval Air Station Fallon (NAS Fallon), Nevada, USA, using a variety of methods. We documented the presence of a majority of the amphibian and reptile species native to this region of the Great Basin. We found 5 species on NAS Fallon that are listed as Species of Conservation Priority by the Nevada Department of Wildlife: the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana), Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas), Northern Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos platyrhinos), Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wizlizenii), and Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores). However, we found no evidence of any narrowly distributed species of conservation concern, such as the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) or Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae), that could have occurred on installation lands based on historical or recent observations in nearby areas. Our results indicate that this property, while primarily used for military training, can support a diverse, representative herpetofaunal community. Therefore, NAS Fallon should be considered a valuable part of the network of state and federally managed lands necessary for regional conservation planning in the face of future change. Our study also provides a baseline against which future inventories of this federally managed land can be compared.

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