Diamonds in the Rough: Are Populations of Elusive Ribbonsnakes Hiding in Plain Sight?

As a kid back in the 1990s I was absolutely positive I had both Common Gartersnakes and Eastern Ribbonsnakes slithering around in the fields behind my house, but today I chalk that up to some shotty use of a field guide on my part. Gartersnakes are widespread in Vermont and the only species of snake […]

Elusive Wood Turtles

“I’ve lived here my whole life and if there were orange-legged turtles crawling around on my farm I’d know about it”. We’ve heard iterations of that line several times now, and perhaps my favorite followup quote, uttered moments after finding two Wood Turtles near the farm’s river ford, went something like “I’ll be dipped in […]

Winter Blizzards Bring Spring Lizards: How to find amphibians during their spring breeding migrations

Every spring in the northeast, as the snows melt and the ground begins to thaw, frogs and salamanders move out of their upland overwintering habitat down and into wetlands to breed and lay their eggs (and no, salamanders are not actually lizards, so please excuse my turn of phrase). Unfortunately, when roads cut between breeding […]

Baby Wood Turtles: A 2019 Highlight

While adult turtles have very high survival rates from year to year and can live exceptionally long times, the life expectancy of a hatchling is very short. Indeed, most turtle nests don’t survive (nest failure rates are often greater than 90%), and out of the small percentage of hatchlings that do make it to the […]

A Gardener’s Friend: The Secretive Red-bellied Snake

Northern New England is not known for having high reptile and amphibian diversity, yet most people here are amazed to learn how many species we actually have. I’d wager that if you approached someone on the street and asked them to name all the local frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles in the area they can […]