In a recent Facebook post, Hinds described the area where he found the first Tulare Basin scorpion as a "tiny little lot of land in the central valley that had been disturbed but not completely plowed over yet." The habitat is in Fresno County in part of the San Joaquin Valley within California's larger Central (Great) Valley, an expansive basin between the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada mountains.

He took some photos of the "odd-looking scorpions" that he'd never seen before and then moved on. While there, he also found a couple of side blotch lizards. It wasn't until others took notice of the photos online that Hinds realized he had discovered something special.

"Over the years I have discovered the Central Valley still holds biodiversity and many secrets in the little tiny pockets of habitat that remain, which isn't much as one can drive for mile after mile and see nothing but farms for as far as the eye can see," Hinds wrote. "It isn't a pretty or easy place to herp [sic] as one spends more time driving around or searching for habitat than one does actually exploring the habitats."

The Tulare Basin scorpion has been found at 12 sites scattered throughout Kern County and Fresno County, about 100 miles and 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Although the scorpion is venomous, it doesn't pose a threat to humans, according to Lauren Esposito, assistant curator for California Academy for Sciences and the study's co-author.

The bigger risk is to the Tulare Basin scorpion itself, Esposito said, in that it faces a number of imminent threats to its survival, with most of them directly related to human activity. She believes the scorpion is likely already highly threatened with extinction, even though it was newly discovered.

"The most important step towards the conservation of [the Tulare Basin scorpion] is the preservation of alkali-sink plant communities by protecting the remaining high-quality habitat, controlling invasive species, limiting cattle grazing, restoring abandoned land, and combating the causes and effects of climate change," the study authors wrote. "Furthermore, due to its small and unstable range, we suggest that this species receive endangered or critically endangered species status, at least at the state level, so that it can be adequately protected."