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The Department of Herpetology focuses on systematic and conservation biology research of amphibians and reptiles from California and Baja California. Projects involve habitat evaluation, distribution analysis, thermoregulation, alpha taxonomy, phylogenetic reconstruction, and historical biogeography.

Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California

The Department of Herpetology focuses on biodiversity research and is home to the Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California. The Atlas documents amphibians and reptiles from southern California and Baja California using both Museum collection data and observations from citizen scientists. Learn more.

Saving the California Red-legged Frog from Extinction

In San Diego County, the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) went extinct in the 1970s. The Nat is contributing to the recovery of the frog in both the United States and Mexico as part of a binational, collaborative effort. Learn more.

What We’re Up To

"Coastal resiliency" has become a global priority for government agencies and conservation groups alike. But what is coastal resiliency, and why is it important in our corner of the world?  Read more.

Spring is rattlesnake season in southern California. With a little knowledge and preparation, we can coexist with these magnificent snakes. Read more.

With the 2022 translocation season all wrapped up, three generations of California red-legged frogs are now in their forever homes in southern California.   Read more.

Our first cohort of STEM apprentices reflect on their time with The Nat’s research department, sharing how they got here, what they learned, and where they’re going next.  Read more.

From across a crowded pond...male frog calls give female frogs information about a potential mate. We’re continuing to study the California Red-legged Frog with the help of acoustic monitors that record their calls. Read more.