Virginia Zoo Amphibians and Reptiles
The Virginia Zoo is home to many fascinating amphibians and reptiles. Here are some popular residents.
Red Salamanders are found in the eastern United States, especially near rivers and streams. They are about 4 to 7 inches long, and despite their name, they can range in color from a purple-brown to bright red. Younger salamanders often are brighter, and adults darken as they age. Red salamanders have five toes on their back feet and four toes on the front. Predators include birds, skunks and raccoons. They are carnivores, eating small insects, worms and sometimes smaller salamanders.
The Virginia Zoo is home to a variety of snakes including indigo snake, speckled kingsnake, Angolan pythons, carpet pythons, emerald tree boas, and copperheads. Snakes can have a preference for food based on color and generally are loners.
Leap into the year 2012 with Virginia Zoo's FrogWatchUSA volunteer team and learn about some of our special amphibian friends. Frogs and Toads play an important role in any ecosystem they inhabit playing the role of both predator and prey, these amphibian friends are ecological indicators of their habitats’ health. Hopping, happy frogs means a hopping, happy environment and now you can help too.
FrogWatch USA is the AZA’s flagship Citizen Science program that allows individuals and families to learn about wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. Species of frogs and toads can be easily identified by their call, and a fair estimation of their population can be formulated by the concentration of calls heard in a specific location. For over ten years, volunteers have been trained to acquire this data and enter their FrogWatch USA information and ongoing analyses of these data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species.
Feelin' froggy? Then hop over to the Zoo and join in on the fun!
How you can help:
Amphibians Threatened Worldwide
Recently, the world has lost more than 120 species of amphibians due to habitat loss, disease, over-collection, climate change, pesticides and pollution. It is a real possibility that frogs, toads, salamanders and newts may go extinct in the next few years.
How you can help:
- Maintain a green garden and lawn without pesticides
- Participate in wetland cleanups
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products
- Conserve water
- Buy locally grown produce
- Visit Frogwatch at www.frogwatch.org
Click here for a list of more amphibians and reptiles at the Virginia Zoo.