The Land Trust led an excited group out to our Wantrup Preserve recently for one of our special Members Only series outings – Reptiles and Amphibians. For those of us who couldn’t make it, Lands Program Assistant Erin Erickson came back from the field trip with photos for everyone to enjoy.

Led by herpetology expert Jeff Alvarez, there were plenty of reptiles and amphibians to see despite the lack of rain so far this season.

While hiking the entire barn loop, the group turned over downed logs and rocks along the way, discovering many alligator lizards (both northern and southern), Western Skink lizards, Pacific Ring-necked snakes and a baby rattlesnake. Even as a baby, a rattlesnake can be dangerous, leading Jeff to remind everyone that when looking for reptiles and amphibians, do so under close supervision and with caution.

Two small ponds on the property allowed for the use of a net to scoop up various pond life for viewing in a plastic bin. This led to the finding of even more species like bullfrog tadpoles, dragonfly larvae, and young, yet self-sufficient Mosquitofish and Bluegill fish.

Interested in going next time? The Land Trust usually schedules one reptiles and amphibians hike every spring and fall just for our members, so keep an eye open when the next hike guide comes out in the spring of 2019 and become a member easily with our secure, online form.


Common bullfrog.


Southern alligator lizard.


The group gathers near a pond on Wantrup Preserve.


Herpetologist Jeff Alvarez with a Pacific Ring-necked snake.


Pacific Ring-necked snake.