About Us

Michigan Herp Atlas Project

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Our Purpose (Call to Action)

Do you enjoy searching for salamanders under logs, listening to frogs calling in the summer, or spotting basking turtles?

The Michigan Herp Atlas Project is a citizen science program that collects observation data about Michigan’s amphibians and reptiles (collectively known as herpetofauna or “herps”) so we can document their distribution and changes in their populations statewide. Herps are an important group of animals in our natural ecosystems, acting both as predators and prey to a number of species across Michigan’s forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

We need the help of herp lovers across the state to help map out the locations of Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians. You can record your own past and present observations of herps directly on the Michigan Herp Atlas website!

The Michigan Herp Atlas provides a publicly-accessible and editable reptile and amphibian database for the state of Michigan. The public have access to data at the county-level, while only you and the administrators have access to the more specific, and potentially sensitive, information in your submissions.

Thanks to the help and support of Herp Atlas community contributors, we have rediscovered two species of salamander: the Western Lesser Siren—which has not been observed since the 1950’s—and the Marbled Salamander—which has not been previously detected in Michigan since the 1980’s.

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David Mifsud “Turtle Dave” Admin Michigan Herpetological Atlas
"Part of the mission of the Michigan Herp Atlas is collaboration and partnership. Our strength comes from active participants and those who support our mapping of the spatial distribution and conservation of herpetofauna in Michigan. We pride ourselves on a diverse and inclusive group ranging from institutions to individuals each appreciated and valued equally."
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Our Species List

An educational source about Michigan’s amphibians and reptiles, including detailed photos and Michigan range maps based on Michigan Herp Atlas data. Visit HRM for an even more detailed list.

View the Species List

New Records

This link connects herp observers to an easy-to-use form where they can enter information about their observations. Their entry will be reviewed by expert herpetologists before it is quickly added to the online database.

Add a Record

Search Records

This feature allows users access to all herp records in the database at the county level and is searchable by species, date, location and other fields. The database provides information about species presence and population trends for conservation planning and habitat management.

Search for Records

Michigan Herp Survey History

Local surveys of Michigan’s herpetofauna have been performed in several areas, but few have been conducted over long-term periods. Other than the Michigan Frog and Toad Survey, initiated in 1996 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), no statewide survey or monitoring of amphibian or reptile populations has been completed.

To address the lack of detailed knowledge on the distribution and abundance of Michigan’s herpetofauna, the Michigan Herp Atlas Project was initiated in 2004 by Lori Sargent of the MDNR. In 2010, HRM partnered with MDNR and took on the daily responsibilities of the project including community engagement, data vetting and review, and as the steward of the various submitted data. Our incredible contributors span from scientists to backyard nature lovers. We especially encourage people to submit observations from parts of the state where few data have been recorded. Previously, data were submitted to the Herp Atlas on paper cards and was then manually entered. Today anyone can easily enter their data directly into the Atlas on the website.

 

 

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Administering Agency

The Michigan Herp Atlas Project is a Michigan Department of Natural Resources project administered through Herpetological Resource and Management.

MI Herp Atlas Citation

MIHerpAtlas. YEAR. MIHerpAtlas – A Statewide Herpetological Atlas and Data Hub. Michigan, U.S.A. Available http://www.miherpatlas.com. (Accessed: DD-MM-YYYY). Observation Reference:

Please use “MIHerpAtlas” as the institution prefix followed by the observation number.
Example, MIHerpAtlas Record 2758
Note: In digital publications, we encourage authors to directly link to MIHerpAtlas observations.