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FAQs: Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program

Commonly Asked Questions


I see the same species in the same places, should I report them each year?


YES! There is great concern about declining amphibian and reptile populations. Unfortunately, there is little background data for substantiation of this concern with many species. A time-series, observations on the same species in the same places, is the minimum data set with which to detect declines. These observations are particularly important for rare report might represent a transient individual but a handful of reports at the same site likely represent a population.


Should I only report amphibians?


NO! We need more information about most of our snakes and turtles. Spotted, Wood, Common Musk, and Blanding's turtles are under-reported, and we're just as interested in Painted and Snapping Turtles. Several individuals have expressed concerns about possible declines in Racers, but there are surprisingly few observations on most snake species. Is it because our snakes are secretive or because they're declining? Only RAARPers can help us.


Is a photograph of my observation really necessary?


YES and NO! We know that most RAARPers are knowledgeable observers, and we welcome all submissions. However, a photograph clearly showing the characteristics that identify the species is the best possible RAARP submission- it vouchers the observation for all time. Some species that are difficult to identify or are rare in NH require a photograph to be verified.


I'm a teacher; is there any way to involve my students?


YES! Teachers and students have made outstanding contributions. For example, students in Winchester submitted a report of their observations, complete with photographs, and students in the Haverhill area did a survey of Spring Peeper and Wood Frog chorusing sites. Reptiles and amphibians can be seen, heard, and touched (gently, please); is there a better way to teach science?


Can I submit more than one species observation on the same form?


YES! We often observe more than one species at the same time and place; all the species observed can be listed on a single form.


Do I have to use the RAARP forms to submit my observations?


NO! The RAARP forms are provided for convenience and to help point out the important types of information. However, the same information provided in any appropriate form is welcome. You may even submit your observations via e-mail to: Download a printable RAARP form PDF Document