The Biota of the Gordon Natural Area - Amphibians & Reptiles

Amphibians and reptiles (aka, ‘Herptiles’) have been little studied at the GNA, so the account here is accordingly brief. To date, 18 species of herptiles, in 14 Genera, 6 Families, and 4 Orders have been noted at the GNA. Data were compiled by surveys by Dr. Harry Tiebout, augmented by observations from GNA staff (which as used here, includes student interns), additional WCU Faculty, and graduate student Steven Clay.

Based on GNA staff observations, the most commonly-encountered species are Northern Red-backed Salamanders, Eastern American Toads, and Eastern Box Turtles. Additionally, various species of snakes (primarily, garter snakes) and other species of salamander are periodically observed. With a life-span of 120+ years, Eastern Box Turtles are the longest-living animals in the GNA. Recently, we've begun to plant tree species that are known to be food sources for box turtles, with an aim towards increasing food resources for this species. To facilitate this work we’ve compiled a list of plant species utilized by box turtles. (the list can be accessed: here).

You can explore the herptile checklist below, or you can access a pdf copy of the checklist.