New York Natural Heritage Program
Fence Lizard
Sceloporus undulatus (Bosc and Daudin, in Sonnini and Latreille, 1801)
Reptiles
Fence Lizard (female) Jesse W. Jaycox
Family: Spiny Lizards (Phrynosomatidae)

State Protection: Threatened
A native species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future in New York (includes any species listed as federally Threatened by the United States). It is illegal to take, import, transport, possess, or sell an animal listed as Threatened, or its parts, without a permit from NYSDEC. 1) Any native species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future in New York. 2) Any species listed as threatened by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, very few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or some factor of its biology makes it especially vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Fence lizards are named for their habit of basking on rail fences. In other parts of their range, they are known as pine lizards because of their occurrence in open pine woods (Conant and Collins 1998).

State Ranking Justification [-]
Five extant, naturally occurring, populations are known and there is one introduced population on Staten Island that has persisted since 1942 when 29 individuals were released. When appropriate separation distances are taken into consideration, the five naturally occurring populations would be combined into two occurrences. There are three occurrences when the introduced population is considered. There is some evidence of decline in one location and two additional locations where this species was recorded in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1950's are now believed to be extirpated for unknown reasons.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]