Among all the vertebrates present in Quebec, amphibians and reptiles are probably the least known, but also the most threatened.
The greatest diversity of imperiled reptiles and amphibians is found in the southern portion of the province, where most agricultural activities are established and dominate the landscape. Habitat loss through land use for agriculture constitutes an important threat for different species of amphibians and reptiles. However, agricultural producers and stakeholders can learn to coexist with those species and thus help in protecting their populations and habitats. Amphibians and reptiles, although poorly known, play essential roles in the food chain and fulfill several beneficial ecological services to agricultural producers. For instance, they control certain agricultural pests, such as small rodents and certain invertebrates (slugs, devastating insects, etc.), and their habitats are a source of allied animals for many cultures, such as pollinators.
Consequently, in order to favour their conservation, the St. Lawrence Valley Natural History Society produced a guide for the conservation of amphibians, reptiles and their habitats in agricultural environments. In addition to presenting those fascinating animals, this guide proposes to agricultural producers many practices and management that are favourable to the preservation of amphibian and reptile populations and habitats. The recommendations elaborated in this guide are derived from an information synthesis of what is being done here and in other countries. They are adapted according to the type of culture, thus offering practical conservation solutions to many different agricultural producers (pasture lands, cereal cultures, maple syrup production, etc.).
This project benefitted from the financial support of the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) (volet 4 du programme Prime-Vert 2013-2018). This project was also made possible thanks to the financial support of the Fondation de la Faune du Québec (FFQ). Human resources and material were also provided by the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP), by the MAPAQ and by SCV Agrologie.