Habitat Fragmentation and Herpetofauna

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Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire has become heavily urbanized in recent decades which impacts native wildlife’s habitat area. Reptiles and especially amphibians are indicator species, therefore, studying their population changes due to this habitat alteration can display the true effects. This research project’s goal is to collect information on how habitat fragmentation, or the separation of habitats due to roads and other transportation routes, affects herpetofauna in Southern New Hampshire. While the topic of habitat fragmentation’s effect on amphibians and reptiles has been studied, there hasn’t been any studies in this geographic region. Most reptiles and amphibians in this area have been researched minimally and therefore it is difficult to determine the best conservation methods. The most well researched way of connecting fragmented land for conservation is wildlife corridors. Many herpetofauna avoid crossing paved roads or suffer road mortality. Therefore, it would be valuable to complete further research on local reptiles and amphibians' behaviors around paved roads and implement wildlife underpasses to connect their fragmented land. This research would form a better understanding of possible conservation methods of native New Hampshire wildlife to avoid possible extinction of these sensitive indicator species.