Important Amphibian and Reptile Areas

Important Amphibian and Reptile Areas (IMPARA) are areas that have special worth and significance for the conservation of amphibian and reptile biodiversity and species at risk. There are three kinds of IMPARA sites: 1) Sites containing species of conservation concern; 2) Sites containing a high diversity of species; and 3) Sites that fulfill important life history functions for herpetofauna. While all areas harbouring amphibians and reptiles have some conservation importance, the IMPARA program identifies some of the most noteworthy areas. Modeled after and complementing the Important Bird Areas of Canada criteria, the objective of site designation as an IMPARA is to raise awareness and generate additional stewardship for these sites.

Current IMPARA Sites

IMPARA Nomination and Selection

Anyone can nominate a site and we welcome new nominations at any time. To nominate a site as an Important Amphibian and Reptile Area, please complete a site nomination form. The nomination criteria and other relevant considerations for nominating a site are located at the beginning of the nomination form. Please carefully read the IMPARA criteria located on the first page of the nomination form. Please e-mail the completed form to or mail the form to:

Dr. Stephen Hecnar
Department of Biology, Lakehead University
955 Oliver Road,
Thunder Bay, ON,
P7B 5E1

Site nominations are evaluated against the IMPARA criteria by a panel of scientists from CHS's membership. The level of importance (national, provincial, or regional) of a site is also taken into consideration. Affected parties such as land owners and area managers are informed of the site nomination, and any evidence they present is also taken into consideration before the site is approved as an IMPARA.

What protection does designation give an Important Amphibian or Reptile Area?

The designation of an area as an IMPARA identifies it as important to conservation; it does not afford any legal protection. The strength in taking this approach is that areas are identified entirely by their conservation value, and the factual integrity of this decision is not compromised by considerations of political issues or property ownership. Important Amphibian and Reptile Area designation is a tool to help communities advocate protection of important areas, by documenting this importance in a scientific manner.

As a national organization representing amphibian and reptile conservation, we hope that our endorsement of the site as important will carry some weight with policy makers and the public. For that reason, CHS will inform the following organizations that the site is important and should be protected:

What is meant by "Areas"?

Important Amphibian and Reptile Areas must have clear boundaries (geographical, property, or political), and must be large enough to potentially support self-sustaining populations. However, they should also be small enough that they form units amenable to locally-oriented conservation and restoration. While areas that already protect amphibian and reptiles (i.e., parks and conservation areas) are obvious candidates for Important Amphibian and Reptile Area designation, it is also quite important to nominate areas that are not currently protected.

If you're unsure about whether your Important Area is large enough or small enough contact the IMPARA Coordinator.