The Ethics of Herping

I’ve recently gotten more into herping and was able to find some decent spots for snakes. While I was flipping boards I wondered- am I doing any harm to the environment? I always make sure to put boards, rocks and logs the exact way I found them and take the animals I find out before putting them back down, to avoid crushing them, and make sure they make their way back under what I found them under afterwards. I just get worried I might make them abandon those spots by disturbing them or if I might make those spots lose too much moisture, which would be horrible for animals like salamanders. I’m also wondering what would be considered over-flipping an area. For example, would it be too much to visit the same area once a week? I know it will depend on the habitat but I’m looking for some general guidelines.

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there are a ton of existing threads in the forum about this sort of thing. just a few:

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Yes, if you want to reopen any of those existing threads to add thoughts/conversation, you can message moderators and we can do that.

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In addition to the existing threads, you might be interested in a recent book about field herping, which includes a fair amount of discussion of these kinds of topics: https://ugapress.org/book/9780820354583/the-field-herping-guide/

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Thanks, I’ll definitely check it out!