Reptiles and Amphibians

Apr 06,2016

There are not more than 50 species of amphibians and reptiles combined in the state of Colorado. The average elevation here is around 6,800 feet above sea level. Most of the different species will be found at lower elevations in Colorado. 70 percent of all species do not go higher than 8,000 feet. With that in mind, the climate at higher elevations is harsh and the low pressure of oxygen is believed to affect the egg embryos from developing. There are only 2 species that will be above 10,000 feet and they are the Short-horned Lizard and the Western Terrestrial Garter Snake.

Most amphibians and reptiles cannot live in a cold environment. They cannot generate their own body heat and therefore must live in a warmer area where there is an external heat source. There are a large number of species in the lowlands of Eastern Colorado. It is warmer there and more suitable to raise their offspring.

Some of the best places for viewing are the National Parks, Monuments and Grasslands. April through October is the preferred period. When the mornings and evenings are warm, it is the best time. Approach slowly, quietly and stay a good distance away. Sit and listen. Take some binoculars.

The Threat

An ongoing threat to amphibians and reptiles in Colorado are those greedy developers. They are trying to develop all land in their reach to put money in their pockets and destroy the habitats for many species of animals that reside there. It is also estimated, that thousands of amphibians and reptiles are killed by vehicles on the roads every year. The heavy pesticides that the farmers use also kill many species. With the development of thousands of acres constantly ongoing, we will be adding many species of animals to the Threatened and Endangered Species list.

With all of that in mind, the only species we will see in the future will be a photo from a book that sits in the library. I pray this never happens.

For information and photos of Amphibians and Reptiles go to one of the listed websites.

Some of the best photos I have seen on Reptiles and Amphibians were taken by Joe Farah. His photos are Colorado specific and can help you to identify species you might find while in the field. Please visit his website at

Colorado Mountain Man