Did you know Wisconsin has 55 species of amphibians and reptiles, over half of which are endangered or at risk? They don’t always get the same attention as other imperiled wildlife, but it’s hard to imagine a world without them.

In the springtime, they fill our ponds and marshes with a chorus of song, from spring peepers chirping to the trumpeting call of bullfrogs. They help keep our insect and small mammal populations in check, benefiting agricultural crops and preventing the spread of disease.

From grasslands to forests, from prairies to bogs, amphibians and reptiles can be found in every ecosystem in Wisconsin, playing a critical role in the health and balance of our natural world.

 

New support for amphibian & reptile conservation in Wisconsin

In 2017, we noticed a lack of sustainable funding for at risk amphibians and reptiles in Wisconsin, so we created a first-of-its-kind endowment – the Wisconsin Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Fund – to provide long lasting support to bridge that gap and protect Wisconsin’s turtles, toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, and salamanders for future generations. 

Wood Turtle by Jessica Piispanen/USFWS via Flickr

“The Wisconsin Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Fund is an opportunity to help with education and outreach, to help scientists do more on-the-ground research and monitoring, and to support more field work and conservation projects than we are able to accomplish right now.”
Andrew Badje, conservation biologist

Why do amphibians and reptiles need our help?

Populations have declined due to habitat loss, the illegal pet trade, and road collisions, while new threats like emerging diseases and climate change are compounding these issues.

Amphibian and reptile species have unique life history, behavior, diet, and habitat needs, which makes them more vulnerable than other species to change. This first-of-its-kind fund will provide lasting support for Wisconsin’s most threatened and endangered species, including:

 

  1. Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
  2. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
  3. Ornate Box Turtle
  4. Queensnake
  5. Slender Glass Lizard
  6. Eastern Ribbonsnake
  7. Western Ribbonsnake
  8. Wood Turtle

What will this fund do?

Grants from the Wisconsin Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Fund will support critical projects related to the conservation, education, research, and monitoring of Wisconsin’s native amphibians and reptiles and their habitats.

Sample projects include:

  • Supporting on-the-ground conservation and research to better understand and protect ornate box turtles, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes, and other endangered species.
  • Restoring native habitats where high numbers of rare amphibians and reptiles are found, such as river bluffs and sand prairies.
  • Training citizen scientists to monitor Wisconsin’s rare and threatened amphibians and reptiles, helping to inform conservation efforts.
  • Launching education and outreach efforts to teach children and adults about Wisconsin’s amphibians and reptiles.

Spring Peeper by Michelle Milford.

Help Wisconsin’s s turtles, toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, and salamanders by making a gift today! Gifts may be made online or via check. Please designate your gift to the “Wisconsin Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Fund.”
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
ATTN: Wisconsin Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Fund
211 S Paterson St Ste 100
Madison, WI 53703

Written by Hannah Schroepfer

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