High Point at Angelina National ForestScott Wahlberg

Proper land management can positively impact the health and well-being of reptiles and amphibians.  By practicing the following land management activities, landowners can benefit herpetofauna on their property:

  • Know the species present, their abundance, and habitat requirements
  • Restore/maintain/enhance quality native habitats for wildlife
  • Include treatment of non-native and invasive flora and fauna in your land management plan
  • Protect hydrological processes -water flow, quality and quantity of aquatic and wetland habitat-especially with ephemeral (seasonal) wetlands or water features
  • Know and avoid den, nest sites, breeding ponds, seasonal wetlands
  • Leave snags, logs, and some woody debris for cover, resting, nesting and food production
  • Pay attention to weather patterns-amphibian and turtle activity/movement may increase dramatically following rainfall events
  • Maintain transitional areas between upland, mesic and wetland habitats
  • Consider migration/movement requirements of species for all land use including esp. timber harvesting
  • Consider species presence and habitat use when placing timber harvest deck sites
  • Consider road and trail design and placement to avoid occupied habitat and migration/travel routes
  • Provide connectivity by using wildlife crossings/pathways/bridges between habitats
  • Reduce impacts to herpetofauna associated with roads by closing non-essential roads, using seasonal closure controls, and observing speed limits of on road and off-road traffic
  • Minimize the use of vehicles/heavy equipment on hillsides to prevent erosion
  • If erosion does occur, address promptly to minimize impacts

Many of these management practices can be met by following the Voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) as identified by Texas A&M Forest Service.