Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles and amphibians (herps) represent an important part of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The American Southwest is well known for its abundance and diversity of reptiles. Although this region is less known for its amphibian populations, they too can be quite abundant in some habitats and are good indicators of environmental change due to their sensitivity to a variety of factors such as pollution, introduced species, drought, habitat destruction, and disease. Herp populations may be affected by these factors and exhibit measurable changes in site occupancy, distribution, abundance, and species richness.