Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Science


Biological Sciences


College of Natural & Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Kellner

Second Committee Member

Dr. Douglas Barron

Third Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Nupp

Program Director

Dr. Thomas Nupp

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


Habitat-driven differences in reptile life-histories have been observed in many species. Prairie lizards, Sceloporus consobrinus, in the Arkansas River Valley inhabit rocky, forested, and intermediate habitat types that exhibit different thermal resource availabilities and habitat structures. I studied prairie lizard space usage and antipredator responses to examine whether lizards exhibit habitat-driven differences in ecology, and whether these differences are influenced, in part, by individual personality. I utilized radio telemetry to track lizards in each of these habitat types and established estimates of space usage and daily linear movements. I used behavioral approaches to quantify lizard antipredator responses to a simulated predator. Prairie lizards did not exhibit differences in three estimates of home range size (95% MCPs, 95% KDEs, and 50% KDE core use area estimates) or standardized daily linear movements among the three habitat types. Prairie lizards also did not express an effect of personality on their movements. Lizards did not differ in flight initiation distance or escape distances among the three habitat types. Individual differences in personality explained a significant amount of the variation in escape distances but not flight initiation distances. Overall, lizards exhibited space usage and behavioral responses that were independent of habitat type characteristics and expressed a pattern of generalist life-histories that have not been observed in Sceloporine lizards before. This may be due to population wide response to selection pressures or a late spring freeze that greatly altered the demographics of the local population.