Difficulty: Easy but physical
Equipment: Herp hook, hoe/rake, or gloves (or anything else needed to safely flip debris)
Potential Harm: Risk of crushing herps; bites, cuts, or muscle strain
Legal Considerations: Permits required on some public lands.
Description: Gently move logs and rocks to search for hidden herps.
This is the act of flipping rocks, logs, bark, boards, tin, car hoods, tires, tarps, or anything else that herps could be hiding under. This is a good way to find almost any herps but turtles. There are some things to be cautious of though. First, one can hurt themselves lifting heavy objects. One can pull a muscle or cut oneself on a nail or tin. Second, you are flipping debris to find animals... You may find something dangerous. Not just venomous snakes, but animals like Southern Black Widows, Eastern Bark Centipedes, Bombardier Beetles, Eastern Yellow Jacks, and several species of Paper Wasp could be hiding under that same debris. Always stay vigilant, and keep your hands places that you can see are safe. Put animals back where they were found, but make sure not to crush them under the item they were hiding under.
Herping Virginia encourages all naturalists to practice ethical, safe, and sustainable herping. The use of proper herping methods and techniques is beneficial to both wildlife and herpers. Visit the links below for more information.