Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region
2145 Key Wallace Dr
Cambridge, MD 21613
(410) 228-2677

Reptiles and Amphibians at the Refuge

Painted turtle. Credit: Bob Quinn

The vast marshes and bordering swamps which comprise Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge offer ideal living conditions for an array of reptiles and amphibians. Some of these creatures are often easily observed, such as a painted turtle basking on a log on a summer's day, but most are shy and elusive during the day, and some are nocturnal (active mainly at night). These cold-blooded animals become dormant with the onset of winter, but with spring's return, the wetlands come alive with the sounds of frogs and toads, and with the activities of turtles, snakes, and salamanders. Water snakes ripple the surface waters and rat snakes hunt in the woodlands; turtles appear on the roads during their wanderings; and toads are conspicuous throughout the drier areas.

All of these animals, from the smallest salamander to the largest snapping turtle, are important to the ecosystem of Blackwater. Many reptiles and amphibians feed on insects, others on rodents, and most, in turn, are fed upon by raccoons, egrets, or a host of other animals. But whether predator or prey, they all contribute to the rich assortment of wildlife which makes Blackwater so unique. Please note that all reptiles and amphibians are protected on the Refuge and may not be collected or killed.

View a brochure (577KB PDF) highlighting the reptiles and amphibians of Blackwater NWR.

Birds Mammals Butterflies Reptiles
Plants Fish

Last updated: September 30, 2010