About the Michigan Herp Atlas


The purpose of the Michigan Herp Atlas Project is to collect observation data about Michigan's native amphibians and reptiles (collectively known as herpetofauna or "herps") so we can document their distribution and changes in their populations statewide. To date, there has not been a statewide survey or complete history of Michigan's herp populations. The Michigan Herp Atlas provides a statewide, publicly accessible, editable database for the state of Michigan. Through the database, citizens can record their own past and present observations to help assess changes in populations over time and measure species health.

Identify Species - Enter New Records - Search Records

Michigan Herp Atlas users can interface in three main ways using the Database Links on the right-hand side of the page.

  1. Species List – This page is an educational source about Michigan’s amphibians and reptiles, including detailed photos, range maps, and descriptions of each species including physical characteristics, behavior and habitat use.
  2. New Records – This link connects herp observers to an easy-to-use form where they can enter information about their observations. Their entry will be reviewed by expert herpetologists before it is quickly added to the online database.
  3. Search Records– This feature allows users access to all herp records to County level in the database and is searchable by species, date, location and other fields. The database provides information about species presence and population trends for conservation planning and habitat management.

Michigan Herp Survey History

Local surveys have been performed in several areas, yet only a few over the long-term. Other than the Michigan Frog and Toad Survey initiated in 1996 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), no statewide survey or monitoring of amphibian or reptile populations has been done.

Recognizing the lack of comprehensive knowledge regarding the distribution and abundance of Michigan's amphibians and reptiles, the DNR began the Michigan Herp Atlas Project in 2004. Initially most observations came from research projects or from well-studied locations. Currently the DNR seeks to collect observations from anyone with an interest in herps, from scientists to backyard nature lovers. We particularly encourage people to submit observations from parts of the state where little data has been collected. Both recent and historic observations are encouraged! Previously, data was submitted to the Herp Atlas on paper cards and was then manually entered. Today anyone can easily enter their data directly into the Atlas on the website.

Administering Agency

The Michigan Herp Atlas Project is a Michigan Department of Natural Resources project administered through Herpetological Resource and Management.

MI Herp Atlas Citation

MIHerpAtlas. YEAR. MIHerpAtlas - A Statewide Herpetological Atlas and Data Hub. Michigan, U.S.A. Available http://www.miherpatlas.com. (Accessed: DD-MM-YYYY). Observation Reference:

Please use "MIHerpAtlas" as the institution prefix followed by the observation number. Example, MIHerpAtlas Record 2758

Note: In digital publications, we encourage authors to directly link to MIHerpAtlas observations.

The Michigan Herp Atlas began in 2004 in an effort to collect observational data about Michigan's amphibians and reptiles.

Our goal is to document their distribution and help measure changes or trends in populations.