1. Respect the welfare of the animals and their habitats
- It is illegal to harm, harass, capture or kill most species of reptiles and amphibians under the provincial Endangered Species Act, the federal Species at Risk Act and the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
- Take all precautions necessary to avoid damage to the habitat of the species you are searching for. Never trample sensitive areas, remove vegetation or alter habitat in any way during surveys. Never make the locations of rare species publicly available. Poaching is a serious threat to many species of reptiles in Ontario.
2. Respect property rights
- If you wish to survey private property, make sure that you obtain prior permission from the landowner.
- Respect the rules and permitted activities of the areas you are surveying. For example, many provincial parks, national parks or other privately owned reserves ask that you remain on marked trails to avoid trampling habitat.
3. Always put safety first
- Make sure you let someone know where you are going before heading out in the field.
- Always take a compass with you to avoid getting lost and familiarize yourself with the area ahead of time using topographic maps or Google Earth.
- Bring – at a minimum – a whistle, first aid kit, and bear protection when out in the field.
4. Encourage reptile and amphibian stewardship and conservation
- Please take the time to explain the atlas project to interested people and encourage them to participate.
- Discuss reptile and amphibian conservation with others and provide information about local species (except the locations of rare species), conservation issues, threats and stewardship opportunities.