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Reptiles and Amphibians

Native reptiles and amphibians help maintain healthy ecosystems across MPG Ranch. Several species control rodent and insect populations. Others help regulate vegetative growth along our floodplain. The majority of juvenile herpetafauna provide quality protein for a variety of higher order predators, while many adults ultimately become a substantive meal for our largest predators. MPG Ranch provides reptile habitat for five native snakes including Bullsnakes, Common Gartersnakes, Wandering Gartersnakes, Eastern Yellow-Bellied Racers, and Northern Rubber Boas as well as one native turtle, the Western Painted Turtle. Surveyed amphibians include Columbia Spotted Frogs, Rocky Mountain Tailed Frogs, Western Toads, the invasive American Bullfrog, and Long-Toed Salamanders. Current research projects focus on the population characteristics of Western Painted Turtles at our Clubhouse Pond, Western Toad migration patterns across the breadth of the ranch, and the large-scale genetic lineages of garter snake species across Western Montana. In addition to these projects, we strive to improve, sustain, and create native habitat by controlling invasive species, enhancing habitat features and building ponds in upland draws.

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