Reptiles are Everywhere
Hello everyone! My name is Gabe and I recently joined the Herpetology Team as a seasonal keeper. My first few weeks have been extremely exciting. Meeting, learning about, and starting to work with the plethora of incredible reptiles and amphibians that we care for has been a special experience. I have joined the team at a fun time of the year as summer is now in full swing.
This means many of our reptiles are moving or have been moved into their outdoor summer homes. As much as many of us loathe the heat and humidity that comes with every Georgia summer, our reptiles love it. Over the past few weeks we have been preparing outdoor spaces to be reptile-ready. What exactly does “reptile-ready” entail? Well, it varies based on what species of reptile we are working with at the time. Reptiles can be found on every continent on Earth except Antarctica! Within these continents, reptiles are spread out among many types of ecosystems. They can be found in deserts, rainforests, bodies of water, and even in cities, to name a few. With every reptile having its own needs, we make sure that the spaces we give them will provide exactly what allows them to flourish. “Reptile-ready” sometimes means removing all the plants from an area or adding more plants, or sometimes it means adding dirt or leaves, and sometimes we need to make an area larger or smaller. Once we check that a space is clean, safe and will provide the reptiles with whatever specific needs they have, then they are ready to move out for the summer. Reptiles that enjoy spending time outside here in Georgia include our native species like box turtles and gopher tortoises, as well as most tropical species, especially lizards like iguanas, anoles, chameleons and beaded lizards.
These fascinating animals thrive in ecosystems across the Earth, and we are lucky to have a climate here in Georgia that allows us to move reptiles both inside and outside. Next time you go to a new place, think about the small things that change, from climate, to plants, animals, geology and more. These are the things that build an ecosystem, and they are some of the many things that we think about when caring for the animals.
Seasonal Keeper, Herpetology