Reptiles and amphibians are collectively known as herptiles or more colloquially as "herps", this is derived from the Greek word; "herpien" which means to creep or crawl. Herping is the term used to describe the act of going out to find reptiles and amphibians in the wild, much like birding. Although reptiles are more closely related to mammals and birds then to amphibians, they are still studied together as they are viewed similarly. The group itself is an artificial classification based on how society views such animals. Grouping aside, reptiles and amphibians are an underappreciated branch of the natural world, they are also under threat by invasive species, diseases, habitat loss and road mortality. Its because of these threats that reptiles and amphibians need the awareness and conservation that other animals have. Amphibians are some of the first vertebrate animals to leave the water and begin walking on land, along with reptiles they have survived mass extinctions and only now are their populations becoming dangerously low. This page is dedicated to becoming a photo arc for the vast diversity of reptile and amphibian species and subspecies I have seen in my travels. Species and subspecies from local areas such Ontario and Quebec, west to Manitoba and in more exotic places such as the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Cuba and Peru. Each species and sub-species' profile contains photos of each in many of their life stages and phases along with information concerning range, ecology, behavior, taxonomy and for some; Indigenous knowledge. For ease using this page there is also an associated index.
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These include evidence of certain species such as egg shells, shed skin or the dead bodies of one of these animals. Although they are not a living animal they do show that the species occupies the area and can be used for scientific data collection. In regards to herping and photography however these finds are not as valuable other than showing what is in the area. While egg shells and shed skin show that there are live animals, dead animals are not always a welcome find but like with everything there is something important when it comes to roadkill. Animals dead on the road (DOR) are unfortunate as they show populations and individual animals alike passing away. By looking at what species are found dead on the road and where, one can use that information to find solutions to mitigate the dangers brought on by roads to reduce road morality. These can include the implementation of signage or more extreme action such as corridors either above or below the roads to provide animals with safe passage. In regards to photography however, DORs act as a cruel reminder of how we effect the natural world but offer hope to one day see that species in its living state. Many animals die by other means, anthropogenic and otherwise and while they do represent what the animal was like when it was alive it is not always an accurate representation.
Much of the information in my reptile and amphibian photo arc I have gained through first hand experience and from those in the field of herpetology and conservation whom I have become well acquainted with. This includes but not limited to; Matt Ellerbeck, Clinton Fulsom, Madison Wikston, Peter B. Mills, Kenny Ruelland and Jhonatan Eliu Guevara Linares. Although I have acquired much of this knowledge from primary sources such as experts in the field and from experiences I have also accumulated much of the knowledge on this website from a number of both academic and grey sources comprised of books, university lectures, websites and peer reviewed academic papers. For some of the pages within the "Herping" page there are in text citations, this is done for traditional knowledge to avoid cultural appropriation.