Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata) is endemic to the Coachella Valley in Riverside Couny, California, and is restricted to dune habitat created by wind-blown sand deposits. This lizard hibernates during the winter and is most active during daylight hours. When its bod temperatures reach elevated temperatures near 35 degrees Celsius (Pough 1970, p. 152), the lizard escapes the heat by “swimming” or burrowing beneath the sand and restricts its activities to the early morning and late afternoon hours.

Since listing in 1980, the species’ distribution has decreased by more than 60 percent and only 43 percent of habitat remains (USFWS 1980, pp. 63812–63820). There are currently 59 presumed extant occurrences in the Coachella Valley with 41 occurring, or partially occurring, within six conservation area boundaries of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CFWO Staff, CNDDB 2010).  Reference

Federal Status


California Status


Survey Protocol

Home Range and Critical Habitat

Photo credits: header (cropped) –  USFWS on Flickr, featured image – CDFW on Flickr