First amphibians, now lizards?

A news article in today’s issue of Science suggests that global warming may drive many lizards to extinction. I have not read the technical article, which you may find here. According to the news article, Barry Sinervo of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues suggest that lizards, which generally can tolerate high temperatures, may nevertheless suffer if the periods of high temperature grow longer. Specifically, if the lizards have to spend more time protecting themselves from the heat, then they become less fit because they must spend less time foraging for food. Sinervo and colleagues note that Mexico has lost 12 % of its lizard species in the last 35 years, and they suggest that 40 % of lizard populations could disappear and 20 % of lizard species could become extinct by 2080. Additionally, Sinervo says here that lizards that can move to higher elevations may end up outcompeting other species and driving them to extinction, so the 20 % figure may be conservative.