Sunday, May 14, 2017

The glorious Colorado River Toad (Sonoran Desert Toad)

via Instagram

Incilius alvarius is the most basal of the Incilius group. Formerly most toads, and particularly the toads of the New World, were nested in the genus ‘Bufo’. Several years ago, this group was split into several genera with the majority of North American bufonids placed into the Anaxyrus genus. The Colorado River Toad is one of the exceptions. One of the largest toads, I. alvarius is a magnificent species with several extra-partotoid glands located throughout it’s body. It’s poison is also uncommon in the bufonid world, containing hallucinogenic compounds along with the bufotoxin. For this reason, the species has been over-collected. That in addition to the pressures that all of today’s amphibian communities have to face (climate change, habitat loss, emergent infectious disease, etc …) this species is considered declining throughout much of its range. We are grateful to have a breeding group of these animals to work with (donation courtesy of Reigning Reptiles) — and hope to breed them over the summer. #Incilius #alvarius #Inciliusalvarius #Toad #Toads #Frog #Frogs #FrogsOfInstagram #CaptiveBreeding #ReigningReptiles

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A great visit and some new board members at the Amphibian Foundation

Last week, we had a special visit from Laura Seydel (Turner Foundation/Captain Planet) and Jairo Garcia (Climate Policies & Renewables at the Atlanta Mayor's Office of Sustainability). It was great to talk with them about important global environmental issues (and of course, how it relates to our beloved amphibians)

No one can resist Princess' charms

Laura, who was instrumental in getting the salamander lab set up at the Amphibian Foundation, holding one of the 5 known Frosted Flatwoods Salamanders from Georgia

Laura finally got to hold a Flatwoods Salamander!

It was a very exciting visit, and both Laura and Jairo are now on our Board of Directors!! Things keep coming together in the most beautiful ways.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Some Timely Info About Native Snakes and You — by John Jensen, DNR

This tiny (yet fierce) Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) is a harmless brown snake, often mis-identified (and killed) as a Copperhead. This beneficial snake eats slugs and can help keep your garden healthy.

Questions About Snakes? DNR Has Answers

FORSYTH, Ga. (4/27/2017)
From spring through summer, calls and emails about snakes are a given at Georgia Department of Natural Resources offices. Yet most of those contacts involve only two questions: What species is this and what do I do with it?
“Only every once in a while, is it a venomous snake,” said John Jensen, a senior wildlife biologist with DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section and co-author of “Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia.
”Whether it’s a venomous snake is, of course, the concern or outright fear underlying most of the questions. Chances are it’s not, Jensen said. Only six of the 46 species native to Georgia are venomous and only one – the copperhead – usually thrives in suburban areas, where the majority of Georgians live.
What to do, then, if you spot a snake?
  • Try to identify it from a distance. Resources such as, which includes DNR’s “Venomous Snakes of Georgia” brochure, can help.
  • Do not try to catch or handle the snake. Give it the space it needs.
  • Remember that snakes are predators that feed on rodents, insects and even other snakes. There is no need to fear non-venomous snakes. Georgia’s native non-venomous species are protected by state law, and one – the eastern indigo – is federally protected as an imperiled species.
  • If a clearly identified venomous snake is in an area where it represents a danger to people or pets, wait to see it moves away first. If not, contact DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division for a list of private wildlife removal specialists. Most snake bites occur when a snake is cornered or captured, prompting it to defend itself.
Non-venomous snakes such as scarlet kingsnake, eastern hognose and watersnake species can be confused with their venomous counterparts. Pit vipers, which include all of the state’s venomous snake species except for the coral snake, are often identified by their broad, triangular-shaped heads. But many nonvenomous snakes flatten their heads when threatened and may have color patterns similar to venomous species. Use caution around any unidentified snake.
For more on Georgia’s snakes, go to “Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia” (, UGA Press) is a thorough reference.
From eastern indigo snakes to bald eagles, DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section conserves Georgia’s endangered and other wildlife not legally fished for or hunted, as well as rare plants and natural habitats. Yet the agency depends primarily on fundraisers, grants and contributions for this vital work.
Help conserve Georgia’s native wildlife now and for future generations:
  • Buy or renew a DNR eagle or hummingbird license plate. Most money from sales and renewals is dedicated to nongame conservation. Upgrade to a “wild” tag for only $25!
  • Donate directly to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund,
  • Learn more about conserving Georgia’s nongame,


  • Benefits: While some snakes eat rodents and even venomous snakes, others prey on creatures Georgians also many not want near their homes. Brown and red-bellied snakes, for example, feed on snails and slugs, the bane of gardeners. Crowned snake species primarily eat centipedes.
  • Babies? Snakes such as earth and brown snake species do not grow large and homeowners occasionally mistake them as juveniles. The concern here: Are larger parents nearby? Yet though some species are live-bearers and some are egg-bearers, snakes do not exhibit parental care, DNR’s John Jensen said. If there are parents, they’re not watching over their offspring.
  • Prevention: To reduce the potential for snakes near your home, remove brush, log piles and other habitat features that attract mice, lizards and other animals on which snakes prey.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We had a great time today @ Morehouse for #GlobalFest17 !!!

Lot’s of great people and enthusiasm and lots of first time snake and turtle handlers. That is really what #outreach is all about!

Here is the beautiful Erica, holding Patty — one of our female outreach Ball Pythons (#Python regius). I don’t usually post people pictures on this feed but this one came out perfect!

#GlobalFest is an incredible event @ Morehouse — celebrating different regions of the globe. Today was focused on Rwanda, West Africa and China, so we brought Ball Pythons, our 3’ Savannah Monitor (#Varanus exanthematicus), A Big-head Turtle (#Platysternon megacephalum) and 4 charming Fire-belly Toads (#Bombina orientalis) …

We hope to be able to partner with Morehouse in the future — this was an incredible evening! #AmphibianFoundation #Morehouse #snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram

Quote of the day: 'What's that thing with that baby?'