Habitat alteration, fragmentation and loss are collectively considered to be the primary challenge in the conservation of amphibians and reptiles (i.e., herpetofauna). With herpetofaunal populations declining, and human populations expanding and using more land, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) has developed a series of regionally specific best management practices, or Habitat Management Guidelines (HMGs) to provide proactive guidance for improving the compatibility of land management practices with these animals.

These guidelines are not regulations, nor are they in any way an attempt to limit landowners’ rights. They should simply be regarded as recommendations for landowners and managers to consider the needs of amphibians and reptiles in the course of their management activities. The HMGs are directed towards resource managers and private landowners who have a desire to help protect amphibians and reptiles. If many landowners and land managers each implement some of these guidelines, then the cumulative effect can only be a positive one. 

PARC Habitat Management Guidelines:

  • Use the best science available
  • Are easily understood by and practical for land managers and private landowners
  • Present measures to help maximize compatibility with existing management objectives, or to optimize management actions specifically for herpetofauna
  • Provide guidance on the management and restoration of habitats such that amphibians, reptiles, and many other wildlife species may benefit

We have not created a guidebook that describes the needs of every species of amphibian and reptile. Instead, we provide regionally-specific guidelines for managing habitats with the goals of keeping common species common, stemming the decline of imperiled species, and reduce the likelihood of species becoming listed as threatened or endangered.


Currently, the first edition of the Midwest guide and the new edition of the Southeast guide are available. See below for details on how to obtain these and other regional guides; new information will be posted as it becomes available.

  • Southeast: The Southeast regional guide is now available online. As of March 2013, an *extremely limited* number of hard copies are available; contact High Cotton at the address provided below.
  • Northeast: (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia) Available from PARC.
  • Midwest: ((Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin) Available from PARC.
  • Northwest: (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming) Available from PARC.
  • Southwest: (Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah) Available from PARC.

For additional information on PARC’s habitat management guidelines, visit the national PARC website’s HMG page.