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A backyard water garden can attract a variety of animals.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has released “Reptiles and Amphibians in Your Backyard,” a color, 8-page publication that offers tips on creating habitat suitable for the more than 160 species of native frogs, toads, lizards and snakes that reside in the state.
Produced by biologists from North Carolina State University, the Wildlife Commission, N.C. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the book offers habitat tips such as adding a water garden, planting and maintaining vegetation native to the area, creating hides with rock piles, logs, and brush piles, and limiting the use of chemicals and pesticides to ensure there are no adverse affects on the animals that are attracted to the backyard habitat.
The book also offers a history of the diverse nature of herps in the state, their importance to the ecology, along with color pictures of some of the native herps, their biological makeup, how they reproduce, what they eat, where they are most often found in urban and suburban areas, as well as requirements specific to the animals in order for them to thrive in a backyard environment.
There is also detailed information on actions that threaten the reptiles and amphibians, including topics such as sedimentation and pollution, traffic issues, and habitat loss. To round out the book, information is presented on what communities can do to protect existing ecological areas, including tips on how to reduce roadkill, protect streamside vegetation and wetlands during construction, and minimize sedimentation. The publication, available in Adobe's PDF format, can be downloaded here.