Natural vegetation was characterized by a community of sand shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) or sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia; Dhillion et al.
Caption: The dunes sagebrush lizard is a rare species found only in shinnery oak
dune habitat in southeastern New Mexico and adjacent Texas.
The lizard lives in the shinnery oak
, and the Fish and Wildlife Service has said that drilling threatens the lizard's habitat, as does the removal of oak for grazing.
Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) occupy mid-grass rangelands characterized by shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii), sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), and mixed-grass communities in five states within the southern Great Plains.
Rough rocky areas are common throughout the Plateau and usually support tall or mid-grass understory and a brush overstory of Plateau live oak (Quercus fusiformis), shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii), Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa).
The individual we discovered was in shinnery oak
(Quercus havardi) and sand-dune blowout habitat.
Lesser prairie chickens require habitats with sandy soils that support shinnery oak
(Quercus harvardii)bluestem (Andropogon sp.
Vegetation cover was dominated by sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), and shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) in a grassland characterized by scattered individual or clumped trees, and shrubs interspersed with short grass and forb ground cover.
In addition to drought, one or a combination of other factors, such as predation, improper grazing practices, conversion of native habitat to cropland, chemical control of sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) and shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) and hunting when populations were low, may have significantly reduced size of populations and geographic range of this species during the past 100 years (Ligon 1927; Crawford 1980; Taylor & Guthery 1980; Bailey & Williams 2000).
For example, the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) occurs primarily in habitat that contains shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii)or sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia; Giesen, 1998).
Our study was conducted on 24,484 ha of relatively intact sand shinnery oak
(Quercus havardii) habitat in southern Roosevelt County, New Mexico (33[degrees] 40' N, 103[degrees] 06' W) during summers in 2002 and 2003.
The application of Tebuthiuron last fall to control shinnery oak
and help restore the native tall- and mid-grasses should benefit the chickens and a range of species, but biologists will be checking vegetation composition, available plant cover, soil moisture, seed and herbaceous production, and populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects to make sure.