VAL Welcomes New Partner

Our newest partner, the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, has been gathering and disseminating reptiles and amphibian data in a way that involves and informs Vermont residents, landowners, and land managers so that they will become more informed and effective stewards of wildlife and its habitat. The Vermont Atlas of Life periodically exports and shares reptile and amphibian reports with the Vermont Herp Atlas.

In the spring of 1995 the Preliminary Atlas of the Reptiles and Amphibians of Vermont was first published. It was not meant to be a field guide or a source of natural history information but rather a set of maps showing the locations of documented reports of reptiles and amphibians in Vermont. It was distributed in hopes of motivating people to document the reptiles and amphibians that they were seeing. The data were needed to provide reliable information on which to base the conservation status of Vermont’s reptiles and amphibians and to provide a baseline of known distribution at the end of the 20th century. The database has now grown to include almost 85,000 records and their maps remain the standard source for Vermont herptile distribution information. The latest maps generated are on their website along with information on identification, useful resources, record Vermont lengths, calling times, photos of Vermont reptiles and amphibians, and a data entry portal. Check it out at

Despite all the data that has been contributed over the past 18 years, there are still missing records of common species such as Snapping Turtles from 88 Vermont towns, and of Common Gartersnakes from 12 Vermont towns. Many of our older records are now considered historic (>25 years old) and need to be updated. So, keep those reports and photos of reptiles and amphibians coming.

With the onset of cooler weather, most snakes will be moving to denning areas. Frequently this requires crossing roads. Sadly, warm and sunny road surfaces are attractive locations for snakes to linger and raise their body temperatures after a cold night. As a result many are killed by traffic. Keep your eyes open for either living or dead snakes on roads, particularly on a sunny day after a cold night. Take a photo for your report. Then help the snake off the road if it is still alive. It is the best time of year to see snakes in the open.

Posted on 06 September, 2013 12:58 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland


Very neat! I'll be on the lookout. I love the herp atlas but haven't been good about sending my iNat observations to them and now I don't need to!

Posted by charlie almost 11 years ago

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments