The Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas (ORAA) is the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource on reptiles and amphibians in Ontario. From 2009 to 2019, researchers and community scientists recorded nearly 500,000 observations of reptiles and amphibians across Ontario. Since we stopped collecting data in 2019, we have been working hard to analyze it and put together a publication to share the results. It is our pleasure to announce that we will be launching the ORAA publication in a few weeks!
Community scientists observing salamanders © Noah Cole
The ORAA publication will be available online to all, free of cost, as of November 29, 2023. The bulk of the publication is comprised of detailed accounts for each reptile and amphibian species found in Ontario. In these, you can learn about the conservation status, identification, biology and habitat of each species, as well as a discussion of their range and any trends found over the course of the atlas.
The publication features new maps illustrating the historical and current range of each species. Interactive versions of these maps continue to be available online and can be accessed through the field guide on our website.
Species account of northern ring-necked snake from the upcoming ORAA publication
The colours of the interactive maps have changed to match those in the publication. Over the past year, we have been working to improve the accessibility of the figures throughout the publication. This included choosing range map colours that are more colourblind-friendly.
In the new publication, you will also find sections on the history of reptile and amphibian conservation, the methods for data collection and analysis, and several short articles on interesting topics in reptile and amphibian conservation.
Species account and range map of northern two-lined salamander from the upcoming ORAA publication
Become a Community Scientist
Although the ORAA is no longer collecting data, your reptile and amphibian observations can still help contribute to research and conservation. We strongly recommend you submit observations to the Herps of Ontario project on iNaturalist or to the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) online form for any species at risk.
The ORAA publication would not have been possible without the support of our committee members, regional coordinators, organization champions, staff, volunteers, reviewers, editors and everyone else who contributed data to the atlas.
Blanding’s turtle hatchlings © Scott Gillingwater
Ontario Nature will be hosting a webinar at 7:00 p.m. on November 29, 2023, to share the story of the ORAA. Join us to celebrate the launch of the publication and hear from a panel of researchers and contributing authors. You can also look forward to more events related to the publication in spring 2024. Register here for free!
The post The Best Resource on Reptiles and Amphibians in Ontario Coming Soon! appeared first on Ontario Nature.