Yes, you are a herpetologist, a scientist who studies reptiles and amphibians. More importantly, you are a Mountain Kid Herpetologist, studying our local mountain herps.
Noticing the first frog songs you hear is important noticing for a herpetologist. Of course, most reptiles and amphibians are much more quiet about waking up and so you will have to be curious and creative as you venture out this Spring to discover our lizards, snakes, newts, salamanders and frogs. I hope you even find a turtle but they are much harder to find. You will also get to learn about Herp Hibernation. There's a special term for that! So as we move from late summer to start the year and all the way back to the beginning of summer to end the year you will get to observe the life cycle of our reptiles and amphibians through the seasons. Not too many frog and lizard sightings in the snows of December!
So to help our local scientists you will become a scientist too. Scientists study when things happen and the way they happen throughout the year so this isn't a month of the reptile and amphibian. This is the Year of the Reptile & Amphibian. You are going to learn a lot this year!
A few steps to guide you on your journey.
- Go outside everyday
- Record the date and place you encounter a reptile or amphibian. You might be the first to notice and that’s what the best scientists do, notice things that other people miss.
- Explore where the water is on the land. Observe how that changes during the year. Some places are always wet. Some dry places become wet for a while and then dry again. Water is life so every puddle and pond is important
- Field journal one big adventure at least once a week