• Beach walkway to white sandy beach and bluegreen waters

    Gulf Islands

    National Seashore FL,MS

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Gopher tortoise walking through sand and vegetation at Naval Live Oaks, Florida District

Gopher tortoise at Naval Live Oaks, Florida District.

Reptiles mainly live in the tropics and subtropics although they inhabit every continent except Antarctica. Reptiles are referred to as “cold-blooded” because they do not generate enough heat within their bodies to maintain a constant body temperature (one exception is the Leatherback Sea Turtle). They rely on gathering and losing heat from the environment to regulate their internal temperature.

Orange, yellow, and brown corn snake curled up and resting on a dock

Corn snake resting on a dock, Mississippi District.

Forty-seven species of reptiles have been identified at Gulf Islands National Seashore, including several state and federally listed species like the gopher tortoise and loggerhead sea turtle.

Gulf Coast Salt Marsh Snake curled up in vegetation.

Gulf Coast Salt Marsh snake, Mississippi District.

The highest species richness of reptiles can be found in the Naval Live Oaks area of Gulf Islands National Seashore but different species of snakes, turtles, and lizards are found in every area of the park.

Did You Know?

Live oak trees are strong and durable.

In 1828, John Q. Adams designated the Naval Live Oaks Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore as the first United States tree farm. Live oak trees are known for their incredible density and resistance to disease. They provided durable wood for the construction of early naval vessels.