Reptile and Amphibian Conservation

Southeastern Vermont is home to a number of uncommon reptiles and amphibians, and the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas is the tool that allows us to monitor the status of these population. The Atlas Project, directed by herpetologist Jim Andrews, is an ongoing survey of frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, and turtles found in every town in Vermont.  Much of the information comes from reports of citizen scientists. You will find all of the information you need to submit your reptile and amphibian observations at the Atlas website.

Species Highlight: Eastern Ribbonsnake

Gartersnake, left. Ribbonsnake, right.

At first glance, the very uncommon Eastern Ribbonsnake looks like a very thin Gartersnake with a long and finely-tapered tail. Check for white lips, reddish head, and mahogany stripe on the lower sides of the Ribbonsnake. Photographs or clear descriptions of these would be appreciated. Please include dates, specific locations, and contact information with your reports and send them to Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas.

Eastern Ribbonsnake

  • Cleanly marked
  • Yellow side stripe higher up (scale rows 3 and 4)
  • Mahogany stripe lower on sides
  • White lips
  • Mahogany colored head


Common Gartersnake

  • Not as cleanly marked
  • Checkerboard pattern often visible
  • Yellow side stripe lower (scale rows 2 and 3)
  • May not have mahogany stripe
  • Yellow lips
  • Olive-colored head