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We hope this page serves as a landing pad for learning about amphibians, reptiles, and their conservation. The resources featured were compiled by members of the MW PARC Advisory Board with input from other professionals working in amphibian and reptile conservation and management.
If links or information are out of date, please let us know!

State species

Michigan's official state reptile is the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). The state does not have an official state amphibian, but the Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) was proposed for this role in 2020.


Field guides and species accounts

Reptiles and amphibians of Michigan. Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

Reptiles of Michigan (iNaturalist checklist organized by the Michigan DNR).

Amphibians of Michigan (iNaturalist checklist organized by the Michigan DNR).

Conservation and management

Michigan's Rare Animals - Michigan Natural Features Inventory. This list includes the state listed (threatened, endangered, and extirpated) animals of Michigan. These species are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Michigan Amphibian and Reptile Best Management Practices. This manual was created for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to provide guidelines for management practices for amphibian and reptile populations in the state. 

Michigan's Wildlife Action Plan. This is a strategic framework for the cooperative conservation of wildlife and their habitats in the state of Michigan. It is managed and updated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.


Regulations on the take of reptiles and amphibians. This state regulation makes it "unlawful to kill, take, trap, possess, buy, sell, offer to buy or sell, barter, or attempt to take, trap, possess or barter any state reptile or amphibian from the wild...except as provided within this order."

Community science and local organizations

John Ball Zoo Turtle Road Mortality ProgramThis iNaturalist project is focused on tracking turtle road crossings at potential road hotspots in Michigan. The project focuses on Spotted and Blanding's Turtles, but will also catalogue other turtle species encountered.

Herps of Michigan, Department of Natural Resources. The goal of this project is to gather information on the amphibians and reptiles of Michigan to better inform planning and management strategies for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. 

The Michigan Herp Atlas. The Michigan Herp Atlas provides a statewide, publicly accessible, editable database for the state of Michigan. Through the database, citizens can record their own past and present observations to help assess changes in populations over time and measure species health. 

Technical literature

Blanchard, F. 1928. Amphibians and reptiles of the Douglas Lake Region in Northern Michigan. Copeia 1928(167): 42-51. (PDF)

Carpenter, C. 1953. A study of hibernacula and hibernating associations of snakes and amphibians in Michigan. Ecology 34(1): 74-80. (PDF)

Muzzall, P. 2005. Parasites of amphibians and reptiles from Michigan: A review of the literature 1916-2003. Fisheries Division Research Report. (PDF)

Holman, A. 2012. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Michigan: A Quaternary and Recent Faunal Adventure. Detroit, Michigan. (Available for download from Project MUSE)

Casper, G., Rutherford, R., and Anton, T. 2015. Baseline distribution records for amphibians and reptiles in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Herpetological Review 46(3): 391-406. (PDF)

Phillips, J. Updated geographic distributions of Michigan herpetofauna: A synthesis of old and new sources. The Journal of North American Herpetology 2016(1): 45-69. (PDF)

Museum collections

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

The Reptile and Amphibian collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology is the second largest of its kind with over 200,000 lots of specimens. 

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