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Have you spotted any of these lovely beasties?

April 14 2016

Ontario Nature looking for “citizen scientists” to help fill province’s reptile and amphibian atlas

A few reptiles and amphibians have already been spotted in Sudbury this spring. But with the warmer weather – hopefully – coming this weekend, folks are sure to spot a few more.

On a leisurely shoreline stroll you may spot a midland painted turtle or a Blanding’s turtle. If you turn over a log, you may find a smooth greensnake or red-spotted newt.

“Spring is one of my favourite times of year and is distinctively marked by the unique calls of different species of frogs and toads,” said Emma Horrigan, Ontario Nature’s citizen science co-ordinator, in a news release. “The early season calls of wood and chorus frogs as well as spring peepers bring the night alive with sound.”

Sadly though, reptiles and amphibians are experiencing global declines of 20 and 40 percent respectively, Ontario Nature said in a release issued this week. In Ontario, 75 percent of reptiles and 22 percent of amphibians are listed as at-risk provincially.

Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation (from road building, for example), road mortality, persecution and pollution are all contributing to declining populations, Ontario Nature said.

But you can help.

Enlist as a citizen scientist for the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, which has been led by Ontario Nature since 2009. While out enjoying the nice weather, why not keep an eye out for reptiles and amphibians? They have fascinating traits and adaptations, and you can help their plight simply by reporting your sightings.

For more information, visit OntarioNature.org.

Reptile Facts
Reptiles are experiencing global declines of 20 percent
24 species of reptiles are found in Ontario:
15 snakes
8 turtles
1 lizard
18 of Ontario’s 24 species of reptile (75 per cent) are listed as at risk under the Ontario Endangered Species Act

Amphibians Facts
Amphibians are experiencing global declines of 40 percent
23 species of amphibians are found in Ontario:
10 frogs
2 toads
11 salamanders
5 of Ontario’s 23 species of amphibian (22 percent) are listed as at risk under the Ontario Endangered Species Act

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