ADOT Protects Lizards From Freeway Construction

120 Chuckwallas Were Relocated

PHOENIX -  

WHAT THE?
Arizona Department of Transportation relocated 120 chuckwallas to make way for the new Loop 202 South Mountain freeway.

THE DOWNLOAD
When plans for the new South Mountain freeway ran through chuckwalla habitats, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Gila River Indian Community’s Department of Environmental Quality and South Mountain Park teamed up with ADOT to protect the lizards. Biologists moved 120 to a nearby area several hundred feet away over two separate two-week periods. The teams of four to eight started bright and early at 6am since chuckwallas are more active in cooler temperatures. The animals were captured, measured then marked with white paint. Some of the lizards were even fitted with radio telemetry harnesses to be tracked by biologists in future surveys.

WAIT… THERE’S MORE 
Construction for the 22-mile South Mountain freeway should start mid-2018. The project is expected to be complete late 2019. 

 


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