Amphibians and reptiles are experiencing exceptional declines, with habitat loss and fragmentation among the leading threats to both groups. Furthermore, municipalities, land trusts, land managers and large land owners are increasingly seeking guidance in identifying discrete areas of the landscape that provide exceptional biodiversity value. In response, PARC developed the Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) project.
Habitat alteration, fragmentation and loss are collectively considered to be the primary challenge in the conservation of amphibians and reptiles (i.e., herpetofauna). With herpetofaunal populations declining, and human populations expanding and using more land, PARC has developed a series of regionally specific best management practices, or Habitat Management Guidelines (HMGs) to provide proactive guidance for improving the compatibility of land management practices with these animals.
As scenarios of variable climate conditions unfold, species at the limits of their environmental tolerances will be especially at risk. In addition to predicting effects of altered climates on herpetofauna, management alternatives need to be designed to ensure habitat quality and connectivity. Vulnerabilities will need to be assessed.