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:
- Observe animals from a safe distance. They need their personal space too.
- Do not the feed the animal. Nature provides them with a balanced diet.
- Remember their importance to the ecosystem and do not remove them from the park.
A listing of observed reptiles can be viewed here.