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Reptile and Amphibian Stewardship

There are several easy ways for everyone to get involved in reptile and amphibian conservation.

Four-toed salamander © Stephanie Muckle

On Your Property

  • Whenever possible, avoid removing trees, fallen wood, natural debris, and shrubs or cutting tall grass. These features provide important habitat for frogs, snakes and many other animals.
  • Preserve natural wetlands, creeks and shoreline areas, as these serve as critically important habitat for most amphibian and turtle species.
  • Create or maintain rock piles, which provide habitat for snakes.
Blanding's turtle hatchling © Scott Gillingwater

On The Road

  • Reduce road mortality by helping reptiles and amphibians cross the road when it is safe to do so. Animals should always be moved in the direction in which they are facing, no matter what the habitat looks like. Nesting turtles should never be moved.
Snapping turtle © CC BY Seabamirum 2.0

In Your Area

  • Learn about the species that are present in your area, and be a steward for those populations.
  • Be sure to comment on any proposed developments that might affect those populations, since developers, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) biologists and project consultants often are not aware of many of the species present in proposed development areas.
  • Discourage activities in your community that are detrimental to reptile and amphibian populations, such as wetland destruction, excessive use of pesticides and off-trail ATV use.
  • Be aware of legal protections for reptiles and amphibians.
Bullfrog, Sydenham River Nature Reserve © Larry Cornelis


  • Never remove native reptiles or amphibians from the wild. It is illegal to remove most species from the wild and doing so contributes to population declines.
  • Report any possible signs of poaching to your local OMNRF district office  or a conservation officer by calling 1-877-TIPS-MNR (1-877-847-7667). Lines attached to sticks that have been left along a shoreline are a sign of turtle poaching. It is illegal to possess most species of reptiles and amphibians in Ontario, and anyone in possession of them may have collected them illegally.
  • Educate other people about the decline of reptiles and amphibians, the needless persecution of snakes and how to become involved in reptile and amphibian conservation.
Gartersnake © John Czenke / Shutterstock