Management Resources

A variety of resources are listed below, which include information about how to manage your land to benefit reptiles and amphibians, state and regional guidelines that include forestry and mowing recommendations, as well as more detailed resources related to ponds and wetlands, vernal pools, snakes, and turtles.

General Guidelines to Improve Herp Habitat Around Your Home or Property

Bosmans, Ray. 2019. Create a “herp” friendly landscape. Terrapin Tales Volume 2, Issue 3. The Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society. May 2019. This article provides general landscape care tips to protect reptiles and amphibians. Download here.

GreenWeaver Landscapes. 2022. Attract Amphibians with your Landscape. This website covers some basic tips for how to improve amphibian habitat around your home. Read at https://green-weaver.com/attract-amphibians-to-your-property/

Long Point Basin Land Trust. Tips for Gardeners to Help Reptiles. This two page document provides tips of things you can do to benefit reptiles (and other wildlife species) in your yard. Download from http://www.longpointlandtrust.ca/pdf/reptip.pdf

Northeast PARC. Your Backyard Guide: Helping Amphibians and Reptiles. This brochure provides homeowners with information on how to make their backyard a better habitat for wildlife. Download from http://northeastparc.org/backyard-brochure/

Northeast PARC. Disinfection of Field Equipment for Amphibian Pathogens: Minimizing Spread of Chytrid Fungi (Bd and Bsal) and Ranavirus.  This two page handout discusses how to successfully clean your equipment and boots after visiting a field site. Download from http://northeastparc.org/docs/NEPARC-Field-Equipment-Disinfection-Protocol.pdf

State & Regional Guidelines (Including Forestry & Mowing)

Flatebo, G., C. Foss, and S. Pelletier. 1999. Biodiversity in the forests of Maine: Guidelines for land management. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #7147. C. Elliot editor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Orono, Maine. 168 pp. This document covers biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provides management recommendations for habitats used by amphibians and reptiles (such as vernal pools and woodland springs and seeps). Contact UME Extension Office at 207-581-3188 or view online at http://www.upperstjohnriver.com/BFM.pdf

Kingsbury, B. and J. Gibson. 2002. Habitat management guidelines for amphibians and reptiles of the Midwestern United States, 2nd Edition. Midwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (Midwest PARC). 140 pp. Visit the PARC website (Reports, Habitat Management Guidelines) for more information.

Klemens, M.W. 2021. Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Hartford, Connecticut. Revision to State Geological and Natural History Survey Bulletin 112. This book provides conservation recommendations for amphibian & reptile species, many of which are also found in Vermont.

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. Mowing advisory guidelines in rare turtle habitat: pastures, successional fields, and hayfields. This document provides several options for mowing (rotation, style, height, directionality, etc.) to minimize turtle mortality. Download from  https://www.mass.gov/doc/mowing-guidelines-in-rare-turtle-habitat/download

Mifsud, D. 2014. Michigan amphibian and reptile best management practices. Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC. Although this is a Michigan guide, the practices recommended are very pertinent here. A free electronic copy of this guide is available on line at http://www.herprman.com/amphibian-reptile-management-practices-michigan.

Mitchell, J.C., A.R. Breisch, and K.A. Buhlmann, 2006. Habitat management guidelines for amphibians and reptiles of the Northeastern United States. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Technical Publication HMG-3, Montgomery, Alabama. 108 pp. Visit https://parcplace.org/reports/habitat-management-guidelines/ for more information.

Ponds and Wetlands

Ashton, J. Wild Your Garden. How to encourage frogspawn in your pond. Watch this YouTube video at https://youtu.be/RFmVjpSkl_I to learn how to encourage frogs in your pond.

Gosselin, H.M. and B.R. Johnson. 1995. The Urban Outback – Wetlands for Wildlife: A guide to wetland restoration and frog-friendly backyards. Metro Toronto Zoo. This website describes how to choose and plant plants in your pond to improve amphibian habitat. Download from https://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/urbanoutback/part34.html

Knutson, M. 2018. Managing farm ponds for amphibians and other wildlife. Trillium Fact Sheet 2018-1. This two-page publication covers details for how to manage healthy farm ponds that are also friendly for herps. Download here.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 2017. Creating frog friendly landscape ponds. Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation, PUB-NH-940. This one-page publication covers recommendations for building a frog-friendly landscape pond. Download from https://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/nh/nh0940.pdf

Vernal Pools

Biebighauser, T. 2002. A guide to creating vernal ponds. USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the Izaak Walton League of America. Morehead, Kentucky. 33 pp. Download from https://www.nyfoa.org/application/files/3514/7948/6007/GuidetoCreateVernPonds.pdf

Calhoun, A.J.K. and M.W. Klemens. 2002. Best Development Practices: Conserving pool-breeding amphibians in residential and commercial developments in the Northeastern United States. MCA Technical Paper No. 5, Metropolitan Conservation Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York. 57 pp. Call 924-925-9175 to order, or download from http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/regulatory/VernalPools/BestDevelopmentPractices20Oct2014.pdf

Calhoun, A.J.K. and P. deMaynadier. 2004. Forestry habitat management guidelines for vernal pool wildlife. MCA Technical Paper No. 6, Metropolitan Conservation Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York. 32 pp. Call 924-925-9175 to order or download from https://www.maine.gov/ifw/docs/Forestry%20Habitat%20Management%20Guidelines.pdf

US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. 2015. Vernal pool best management practices (BMPs). This five page document summarizes best management practices for vernal pools to support amphibians. Download from https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/regulatory/VernalPools/VPBMPsJan2015.pdf

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Habitat Stewardship Series (New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan): Vernal Pools. Although this is a New Hampshire guide which includes some species we do not have, it covers how to recognize vernal pools, why they are important, and stewardship guidelines for vernal pools. Download from https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/nongame/documents/habitat-vernalpools.pdf

Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Suggested Guidelines for Timber Harvesting Around Vernal Pools. This two page document provides guidelines for timber harvest around vernal pools in order to protect amphibians that breed in the pool. Download from https://vtecostudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/VP-BMP-handout.pdf

Snakes

Long Point Basin Land Trust. How to Create a Snake Hibernaculum. This two page guide gives the basics of how to create a hibernaculum for snakes to safely spend the winter and avoid freezing. Note that this is not a method we’ve used exactly, and would require large equipment to build. Download from http://www.longpointlandtrust.ca/pdf/Snakehi.pdf

Long Point Basin Land Trust. How to Create a Snake Nesting Structure. This one page guide gives details for how to build a snake nesting structure (for egg-laying species such as Eastern Ratsnake or North American Racer). Note that we have not tried this method ourselves. Download from http://www.longpointlandtrust.ca/pdf/Snakenest.pdf

Ovaska, K. and C. Engelstoft. 2003. Attracting Snakes into your backyard: tips for reptile-friendly landscaping and gardening. This four page guide is focused on improving habitat for endangered snakes in Canada, but the principles in it apply to anyone wishing to increase snake habitat in their own yards. Download from https://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/snake_landscape_brchr.pdf

Van Valen, M. 2018. Coexisting with wild snakes. This webpage discusses what attracts snakes to your property, and options for what to do if you are concerned about snakes on your property (it is worth noting that this article was written in Texas, and here in Vermont, venomous snakes are only found in western Rutland County, so are not a concern for most Vermont landowners). Read at https://wsed.org/coexisting-with-wild-snakes-revised-version/

Van Valen, M. 2018. Improving habitat for snakes on small acreage. This webpage (though written in Texas, so the species mentioned are not the same as those in Vermont) gives several ideas for how to improve habitat for snakes. Read at https://wsed.org/improving-habitat-for-snakes-on-small-acreage/

Turtles

Department of Defense, Legacy Resource Management Program. 2019. Recommended best management practices for the Spotted Turtle on Department of Defense Installations. This 27 page PDF details best management practices and conservation implementation strategies for military sites, which are also applicable to other sites. Download from https://denix.osd.mil/dodparc/parc-resources/materials-for-installation-personnel/recommended-best-management-practices-for-the-spotted-turtle-on-department-of-defense-installations/

Long Point Basin Land Trust. Creating and improving turtle habitat. This two page PDF describes ways to enhance ponds and create turtle nesting sites. Download from http://www.longpointlandtrust.ca/pdf/Turtlehab.pdf

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. 2009. Advisory guidelines for creating turtle nesting habitat. This four page PDF describes methods for creating turtle nesting sites. Download from https://www.mass.gov/doc/guidelines-for-creating-turtle-nesting-habitat/download

Northeast Wood Turtle Working Group. A guide to habitat management for Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta). This 32 page PDF booklet describes Wood Turtle life history and habitat needs, as well as threats and best management practices. Download from https://www.northeastturtles.org/uploads/3/0/4/3/30433006/glin_booklet_9618.pdf

Northeast Wood Turtle Working Group. Management guidelines for Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta). This two page brochure provides a quick summary of management guidelines for agricultural land, forests, nesting areas, and minimizing road mortalities. Download from http://www.northeastturtles.org/uploads/3/0/4/3/30433006/glin_brochure_9618.pdf

Orianne Society. 2022. Improving Wood Turtle habitat on working lands. This webpage describes Wood Turtles, agricultural & forestry practices that can improve or protect Wood Turtle habitat, and landowner resources and available financial assistance. Read at https://www.oriannesociety.org/faces-of-the-forest/wood-turtle-habitat-on-working-lands/

Orianne Society. Wood Turtle Conservation in Working Landscapes. This two page brochure provides a description of Wood Turtles, management in agricultural landscapes, and landowner resources. Download from https://www.oriannesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Orianne-Wood-Turtle-Landowner-Brochure-v2.pdf

Toronto Zoo. Turtles on your Property – what to know and do. 2011. This 16 page PDF describes the issues facing Ontario’s turtles (most of which we also have in Vermont), and describes how to create a turtle nest cage to protect eggs from predators on page 11. Download from http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/pdfs/turtles-on-property.pdf