High Point at Angelina National ForestScott Wahlberg

Proper land management can positively impact the health and wellbeing 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.