Pennsylvania Endangered Reptiles and Amphibians. Of Pennsylvania’s 73 species of Reptiles and Amphibians, 8 are listed as either endangered or threatened. . Turtles.
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Of Pennsylvania’s 73 species of Reptiles and Amphibians, 8 are listed as either endangered or threatened.
Bog Turtle: Full grown at less than 4.5 inches, the bog turtle is Pennsylvania’s smallest turtle. The bog turtle is dark brown except for patches of orange on each side of it’s head. A habitat specialist, loss of wet meadows and bogs due to fragmentation and and habitat succession have contributed to this turtle being considered endangered in Pennsylvania and at the federal level.
Northern Redbellied Turtle: Unlike the bog turtle, The Redbellied turtle is among Pennsylvania’s largest turtles and can measure 12” inches in shell length. The southeastern counties of the state are home to this turtle where it prefers deep water lakes and ponds with adequate vegetation. Habitat loss and water quality have both lead to this species’ threatened status.
Eastern Massassauga: A small rattlesnake, massasaugas have brownish saddles upon a lighter background and a have a tail with brown and black rings. These venomous reptiles live in open old wet meadows. In Pennsylvania, these remnant prairie habitats are only found in a few western counties. Because of their limited distribution, they are considered endangered within the commonwealth.
Rough Green Snake: This bright green slender harmless snake reaches the northern limits of it’s range in southeastern Pennsylvania. It spends most of it’s time in low shrubs near water where it feeds upon insects and spiders. The rough green snake has a very limited distribution in Pa and is listed as endangered.
Kirtland’s Snake: The Kirtland’s snake is an endangered species from a few western Pa counties that is believed to no longer exist in Pennsylvania. Habitat destruction of the wet meadows, fields and marshes may have lead to to this species no longer being found in Pennsylvania.
Southern Leopard Frog: This species of spotted frog is an inhabitant of coastal plains ponds and wetlands. Pennsylvania’s coastal plain province is small and places this species on the periphery of its overall broad national range. Development of these coastal plains habitat has contributed to it’s decline and listed on the states endangered species list.
New Jersey Chorus Frog: This is a small striped frog that uses small open bodies of water including vernal pools in which to breed. Like the southern leopard frog, the New Jersey chorus frog is a coastal plains species whose habitat in an industrialized area of southeastern Pa is threatened by development and pollution. PA has listed this species as endangered.
Green Salamander: The green coloration of the green salamander is unique among Pennsylvania’s salamanders. At the northern extent of their range, the green salamander inhabits only certain sandstone cliffs and outcroppings in one southwestern PA county. Mining and deforestation has proven to be a threat to this species survival within the state. The green salamander is listed as threatened in Pennsylvania.