Reptiles & Amphibians

B.C. Reptiles & Amphibians

B.C.’s new B.C. Reptiles & Amphibians website features our provincial reptiles and amphibians. The website was updated in 2021/2022 with additional content and features added; the website will be updated as information is acquired, and changes are needed.

This project was lead by Thompson Rivers University in partnership with the Province of B.C. (Conservation Science Section). The project was supported by the Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative (CESI) with funding provided by the Province of B.C. and administered by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

What are they?

Frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, lizards and turtles are an integral part of the biodiversity of B.C.’s ecosystems. Collectively, they are often grouped together and referred to as herpetofauna.

Herpetofauna: Refers to amphibians and reptiles of a particular region, habitat or geological period. The term ‘herptiles’ is sometimes also used.

Amphibian: A group of cold-blooded vertebrate animals (they have a backbone) that have a two-stage life cycle. Amphibians include frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians (not found in B.C.).

Reptile: A group of cold-blooded vertebrate animals that have scales and typically lay eggs with shells. Reptiles include snakes, lizards and turtles.

Existing and emerging threats

Emerging infectious diseases have caused population declines and extinctions of amphibian and reptile species worldwide. Pathogens (organisms that cause disease) that pose a potential threat to Canadian amphibian and reptile populations include:

  • Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd): causes Chytrid Disease affecting mainly frogs and occurs in B.C.
  • Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal): causes Salamander Chytrid Disease affecting salamanders and does not currently occur in North America.
  • Ranaviruses: a group of viruses have caused declines of amphibians, reptiles and fish and was recently confirmed in B.C.
  • Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola: causes Snake Fungal Disease affecting snakes and does not currently occur in B.C.
  • Learn more about herpetofauna disease in B.C.

How can you help?

Whether you have scientific training or not, you can make a difference in amphibian and reptile conservation in B.C.

Here are a few ways you can be informed and help:

Disinfect your waders, nets, or boats whenever you move between water bodies. This will prevent the spread of disease and applies to all types of water bodies (e.g. streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds, lakes and wetlands).

Give of your time and energy and get involved in long-term monitoring programs and other conservation initiatives.

Share any incidental observations about amphibians and reptiles in B.C. with the iNaturalist program. If you are conducting a formal survey, report information to the Wildlife Species Inventory.

Guidance documents 

Publications have been developed to inform and provide guidelines for road building and related activities, rural/urban development and wildlife salvage.

Consult these documents for more details: