Members don't have to pay admission or wait in lines...they walk right through Member Express and into the Museum!
Meet our fabulous live animals and the people who take care of them!
When you give to the Museum, you support our scientists' research on the planet's biodiversity. You are also creating tomorrow's scientists. Our teacher resources make each field trip a learning experience, our education outreach brings the science of discovery to schools all over L.A.
These special weekend events are your chance to meet members of our curatorial team, ask your own questions, and get a first-hand, up-close look at many amazing curiosities of our collections.
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Lizards are protected by law, please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO KILL, COLLECT, or TAKE* ANY WILD LIZARD. If you find an already deceased lizard, go to the bottom of our Finding and Photographing Lizards page for instructions on how to submit it to our collection.
The Department of Fish and Game regulates the "taking*" of all reptiles and amphibians. It is illegal to do so without proper permits, even for a short while. It might seem like an easy way to get a photo, or fun to keep one as a pet, but keeping a wild lizard in captivity is difficult and often ends in the lizard's untimely death.
*Definition of "take" according to the Department of Fish and Game is to, "hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempting to do so." Check out the Native Reptile Captive Progragation Laws and Regulations (38K PDF) for full details
Captive lizards should not be released back into the wild. Without proper care, a released pet can spread disease to wild populations. Further, if an animal is not released in the exact location from which it was found, or at the wrong time of year, it can be detrimental to the individual. Once a lizard is in captivity, it should remain there, and be taken care of by someone with the correct permits and proper knowledge. See our resources page for rescue organizations with these qualifications.
Reptiles and amphibians need your help! The numbers of reptiles and amphibians are dwindling everywhere in the world; especially in urban areas like Los Angeles. One way you can help lizards is to be aware of their presence and to make your yard a lizard-friendly habitat.
Because our reptiles and amphibians are mainly terrestrial (ground dwelling) they are particularly susceptible to urban development. But there are some very simple ways you can help! Many people have reported lizards returning to their yards and neighborhoods when these simple steps were taken.
Cats are major offenders when it comes to killing small wild animals. Far from a natural occurrence, we have flooded the ecosystem with “harbored predators” who hunt for fun, and not food. Some free-roaming domestic cats kill more than 100 animals each year. One well-fed cat that roamed a wildlife experiment station was recorded to have killed more than 1,600 animals (mostly small mammals) over 18 months. Multiply that by 77 million pet cats and even more feral cats, and you can see this is an untenable situation.
There are many ways to keep your cats happy and “wild” without doing harm to resident birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals.
If you have a yard or even a porch, a cat enclosure or kitty gazebo is the way to go! They can range from the very elaborate cat palace to very simple outdoor enclosures. Do an image search on the web for “cat enclosures” for more ideas!
Learn more in our resources section about how and why to keep cats indoors.
Gently slow them down with a CatBib!
While an outdoor pen is the ideal option, another idea for protecting wildlife is the CatBib. It slows down the cat’s ability to hunt, but is perfectly safe, allowing kitty to roam free.
Learn more about the CatBib:
Another major problem for countless reptiles and amphibians is drowning, strangulation, and getting trapped in swimming pools, ceramic jars, old tires, buckets, bird netting, etc.
Any containers that lizards and other small creatures could get stuck in, need a ladder. You can use small piles of rocks, or branches to help small critters get out. Or you can put wire mesh over openings to prevent access.
The Froglog is the perfect option for swimming pools. It is affordable, simple and effective. You will save more than lizards if you put such a device in your swimming pool.
Learn more at: http://www.froglog.us/
It is best to use this product only when it is absolutely necessary, when other methods (such as a greenhouse or scarecrow) have failed. In fact, most of our native birds probably help more than hurt a garden by eating pests. If you absolutely must use netting, try to keep it off the ground just enough for a lizard to walk below, but not so high that a bird will still hop under. Suggested height above the ground is at least three inches, but not more than eight. Try to keep the netting stretched out in a single layer rather than folded over. Never discard netting into the environment, as it can continue to trap animals, instead shred it into tiny pieces before discarding.
Reducing the amount of irrigation in your yard, and "leaving the leaves" are the first steps to creating a lizard friendly habitat. Another way to encourage lizards is to build rock and brush piles-they provide the perfect places to hide and bask. Lastly can also try placing broken pottery shards or ceramic roof tiles around your yard, as they provide extra places for lizards to hide from curious pets.
There are countless websites and books dedicated to educating people about organic gardening and pesticide-free lawns. Remember: those “bugs” are food for lizards and frogs, and poisons often affect more than just the intended targets. If your yard is lizard friendly, they should return very quickly with the removal of pesticides.