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Painted turtle basking on a log.


Colorado is home to 54 species of reptiles - 5 turtles, 19 lizards, 30 snakes. 

A couple of our most interesting species are the Colorado checkered whiptail and the Massasauga rattlesnake. The​ Colorado checkered whiptail is an entirely female species that is only found in Colorado. Massasauga rattlesnakes are a small secretive snake that is being considered for federal listing. 

Why Are Reptiles Important?

​Reptiles are right in the middle of the food chain, so they play an important role in bridging the gap between top predators and small prey. Many species eat insect pests. 

What Are The Associated Challenges?


​What Is CPW Doing?Garter snake.

We are in the process of surveying the eastern half of the state to collect baseline information in partnership with a graduate student at Colorado State University.


How Can You Help?

Watch out for reptiles on hiking trails and roads. Avoid hitting them with your bike or car. 

Don’t release reptile pets.

Cats kill lots of reptiles! Please keep your feline friends indoors.

Include native plants in your landscaping to provide shelter and food for reptiles.

Find more ideas of how you can make a difference. Every action, no matter how small, can make a positive impact. See Your Help​.