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.
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.
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.