Better understanding for better protection.
A slice of our history
Did you know that just a few short years ago, reptiles and amphibians were associated with the devil himself in some bodies of work! Not surprising that these quiet creatures remain misunderstood with respect to their biology, their distribution and even their actual abundance.
In Québec, this lack of knowledge led to an inability to objectively assess the situation of the species and undertake necessary conservation actions. To remedy this situation the Saint-Lawrence Valley Natural History Society which manages the Ecomuseum Zoo developed, in conjunction with the provincial government, an atlas program based on the acquisition of information provided by volunteers. And so was born officially in 1988 the Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Québec (AARQ).
The purpose of the Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Quebec (AARQ) is to identify, as precisely as possible, the distribution of 38 species of amphibians (frogs and salamanders) and reptiles (turtles and snakes) throughout the province. Thanks to the participation of volunteer observers, without whom the AARQ could not exist, the data collected is used in matters of habitat conservation and to increase public awareness and education. This data, which also is provided through professional census results, museums and educational institutions, also increases knowledge of the distribution and biology of our species of amphibians and reptiles. The data is used in the preparation of species status reports and to guide development in Quebec with habitat conservation in mind. The AARQ database is the source that supplies information to the Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec (CDPNQ) on reptiles and amphibians.
As a major partner for the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, the Ecomuseum zoo proudly coordinates the Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Quebec and has provided vital support since its inception.
How to help?
The data contained in the AARQ is provided mainly by volunteers who have the environment at heart and a respect for all life forms. By participating in the AARQ, you contribute directly to increasing our knowledge base and consequently help to protect species of reptiles and amphibians and their habitats in Quebec.
The equation is simple: you observed a species somewhere? Declare it on the Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Québec website. If you have the chance to take a picture of the species observed, it will help us to identify what you have seen.
Due to the magnitude and importance of the program, the Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Québec has its own website. Visit us to participate or to learn more about our Québec species of amphibians and reptiles!