In 2020, the Zoo joined Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Fresno State to collect the last of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards (Gambelia sila) (BNLL) from the Panoche Plateau in the western Valley.
There are a few populations of this lizard throughout the San Joaquin Valley, but the BNLL population of the Panoche Plateau is genetically different from all others. After months of searching, we were only able to find and collect 7 lizards to start our breeding program. Without this program, these lizards likely would have gone extinct.
Today, the Zoo has successfully hatched (59) offspring, but this is only the beginning! Our goal is to re-establish a sustainable population of BNLL on the Panoche Plateau through a carefully managed re-introduction program from lizards bred at the Conservation Action Center.