SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Chuckwallas are large lizards, typically 5 to 9 inches in length, that are native to the North America and Mexico.

They can be found in the southwest region of the of the continent, primarily in rocky deserts, lava flows, hillsides, and outcrops. Some can be found in coastal regions.

Chuckwallas tend to seek shelter in rock crevices, or in burrows on islands in the Gulf of California when they are threatened.

The species are locally threatened due to excessive collecting and habitat degradation. 

Collectors not only remove individuals from the habitat, which may reduce population’s viability, but they also cause habitat destruction when tools are used to move or break rocks to expose the reptiles.

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