Tropical rainforests are home to a huge diversity of reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, and crocodiles) and amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and worm-like caecilians). These are found in virtually all rainforest habitats, ranging from the high canopy to streams and creeks. Collectively, reptiles and amphibians are known as herps.

Many herps are threatened by habitat loss, the pet trade, and environmental change. Amphibians are particularly at risk from a deadly disease that is spreading around the globe. The disease has already caused the extinction of at least 170 species of frogs and toads over the past 30 years. Scientists have not yet pinpointed what is causing the outbreak or how it can be controlled. Emergency measures have been implemented for some endangered species, which are being collected and kept in zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens until a cure can be found.

Below you will find profiles for a few rainforest herps as well as a selection of photos. Please note there is more extensive information about rainforest herps, including specific species, at the main rainforest site.




Rainforest herp photo gallery: Red-eyed treefrog, Iguana, Azureus dart frog, Spectacled caiman, Vietnamese green viper, Panther chameleon, Strawberry poison-dart frog, Giant leaf-tailed gecko, Gold dust day gecko

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Review questions

  • What are some examples of reptiles?
  • What are some examples of amphibians?
  • Why are some reptiles and amphibians threatened?
Additional resources


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