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From the Field
amphibians + reptiles

blog posts

  • silvery salamander Vermilion County Illinois

    Silvery salamander

    In a video produced by Outdoor Illinois, INHS aquatic ecologist/herpetologist Andrew Kuhns describes his work in conservation and transportation compliance. He provides an overview of a project, funded by a State Wildlife Grant, to study the population demographics of the Illinois-endangered silvery salamander. Watch the team set up a drift fence to intercept salamanders migrating to their breeding pond. After collecting information, which will aid researchers in assessing population sizes, growth of individuals, and reproduction, the salamanders are released to the breeding pond.

  • Blanding's turtle

    A celebration of the turtles at Nachusa Grasslands

    Nachusa Grasslands provides important habitat for five different turtle species—the midland painted turtle, common snapping turtle, eastern spiny softshell, ornate box turtle, and Blanding’s turtle. Learn about these cool creatures with this post by INHS Population and Community Ecology Lab doctoral student Devin Edmonds!

  • ornate box turtle

    The last turtle in the prairie

    Devin Edmonds studied a few of the last Ornate Box Turtle strongholds in Illinois. The baby turtle in the photo is one of only a handful of hatchlings he found in three years of searching.

  • a Kirtlands snake rests atop an artificial cover object

    Unearthing a fossorial snake

  • Someone holding a Blanding Turtle

    Gathering data to save a rare turtle

    Two weeks each month from May to October INHS scientists visit Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area to monitor the wetlands' turtles. They are particularly interested in the endangered Blanding’s turtle. 

  • monarch on liatris

    Adventure on July 21, 2020

  • eastern musk turtle

    Eastern musk turtle

    Learn about the eastern musk turtle, a small turtle native to much of eastern North America.

  • diamond-backed watersnake


  • spiny softshell turtle

    Spiny softshell turtle

  • American White Pelicans. Photo by Michael Jeffords and Susan Post.

    Chilly April

  • Lungless salamanders in Illinois

    Lungless salamanders in Illinois

  • Spring breeding true frogs

    Spring-breeding true frogs in Illinois

  • Spring breeding tree frogs

    Spring-breeding tree frogs in Illinois

  • Mole salamanders in Illinois

  • Trapping a state-threatened turtle

  • Green Treefrog

    An encounter with a green treefrog—often considered one of the most beautiful tree frogs in North America—will certainly pique the curiosity of almost anyone.

  • Sights at Sand Ridge State Forest