donated by Herpetofauna
Mexico has a large number of endemic species, of which the beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) is one. This lizard can grow exceptionally large, up to a meter in length. Beaded lizards are divided into 4 separate species. These animals are slow to reproduce which makes them very vulnerable.
In this nature conservation project the emphasis is on protecting the beaded lizard. But other species of lizards, such as the black iguana, also benefit from this project due to habitat protection. The project aims to support the different species via the development of breeding stations. Studies are also done into population size and genetics. This will help ensure that the beaded lizard can be preserved, and strong strategies can be developed to save the species from extinction.
This also has important implications for scientific research into the venom of these lizards. This because venoms are very interesting for the medical field. The more well-known Gila monsters from the United States, which are closely related to the beaded lizard, have already shown a great deal of potential with their venom. From their venom a medicine has been developed that can help in the fight against type 2 diabetes.
The project is led by Zootropic in collaboration with the IRCF, the SDGL and the Herpetofauna Foundation.