Reptiles are lung-breathing, scale-covered animals that are ectothermic, or “cold-blooded“. Being “cold-blooded” means that reptiles cannot regulate their own body heat so their warmth has to come from the environment around them. All reptiles are vertebrates, which means they have a backbone. Some reptiles lays eggs and some give birth to live young like mammals do. There are over 9,300 species of reptiles.
Amphibians are also “cold-blooded” vertebrates and usually live in moist areas to keep themselves from drying out. Amphibians breathe through their skin, and they absorb most of the water they need through their skin as well. They go through a process called metamorphosis, where they change shape throughout their lives. Young amphibians hatch from eggs but do not look like their parents. As they grow and develop, their body changes shape. There are over 6,800 amphibian species.
Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park has a unique collection of 144 reptiles and amphibians representing 36 species, including 6 species of the beautiful poison dart frogs.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognizes 8,700 reptile species and 6,260 amphibian species. Of these, 575 species are listed as critically endangered, 921 as endangered, and 918 as vulnerable, for a total of 2,414 species at risk out of the total population. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park cares for 8 threatened reptile and amphibian species. Here they are protected from predators, pollution, habitat loss, and human-caused threats.