What is the Herp Center?

Okay, so what is a "herp"? Herpetofauna is a collective name for amphibians and reptiles, and herp is an abbreviation of herpetofauna!

The Herp Center's mission is to promote the understanding and conservation of reptiles and amphibians of the Midwestern United States and beyond through research, education and outreach. The Herp Center is involved in a variety of activities, including research on endangered herps and the development of recommendations for species management. The Herp Center was established in summer 2000. It is located in the Science Building at Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), in northeastern Indiana. By design, our intent is to link people with needs to individuals and organizations with the expertise to address those needs. Thus our “facilities” extend beyond those available at IPFW. That said, we operate in association with the Department of Biology at IPFW.


The Herp Center has been approved to expand its mission and become the IPFW Environmental Resources Center! The revised Center mission will be to promote the understanding and conservation of the natural resources of the region through scientific research, educational opportunities and outreach. Herp Center activities will continue as a part of the broader mission, so no worries there. Watch us grow some more, and let us know what you would like to see us doing!

The second edition of the Habitat Management Guidelines for Reptiles and Amphibians of the Midwest is printed and available! See the HMG page for more information. Very informative, and very pretty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We encourage you to use our contact information (left), ask us questions, and send us photos to identify herps. We do get certain questions on a regular basis, however, such as "Did I just see a Cottonmouth (probably not!)?" For those we have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. Please consider visiting it first before shooting us your questions - the answer might already be there!