Three major groups of reptiles are found in the park: turtles, lizards and snakes. Reptiles are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature changes as the temperature of their environment changes. For this reason, reptiles are most active in the spring and summer months. Reptiles are important components of the ecosystems they inhabit by performing the role of nature's pest control agents.
There are twelve species of reptiles found at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace and the Boyhood Home at Knob Creek including seven snakes, three lizards and two turtles.
Snakes are perhaps the most feared reptiles. These feelings toward snakes are caused by a lack of understanding and the superstitions handed down from one generation to another. Most people shudder at the very thought of a snake because they do not understand the unknown. They also are afraid because the snake might be poisonous. The copperhead is the only poisonous species of snake at the park. The more abundant black racer is non-poisonous.
When visiting the park please remember three important rules of wildlife viewing etiquette:
A listing of observed reptiles can be viewed here.
Did You Know?
The Knob Creek Farm, where the Lincoln family lived from 1811 to 1816, was added to the National Park Service by donation on November 6, 2001. The site was purchased in April 2001 with money raised by the National Park Trust, several organizations in Kentucky, and many others.