Herpetofaunal Surveys at Fort Matanzas National Monument
Only 38 species of amphibians and reptiles are known from Fort Matanzas National Monument. Fort Matanzas National Monument occupies 138 acres (56 hectares) on the southern tip of Anastasia Island and 175 acres (71 hectares) on the northern third of Rattlesnake Island–barrier islands separated from the Florida mainland by the Matanzas River and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Fort Matanzas National Monument is indicated in green. 'A' is the beach access road and parking lot. 'B' is the main entrance into Fort Matanzas National Monument, the Visitor Center, parking lot, nature trail, and ferry to the fort on Rattlesnake Island. 'C' is the parking lot and boardwalk to the Matanzas River. 'D' is the parking lot and boardwalk overlooking the oak maritime forest and dunes meadows.
Fewer species of amphibians and reptiles are found on coastal barrier islands than on the adjacent mainland, primarily because freshwater is scarce. Amphibians and reptiles on the islands must be able to find what little moisture is available and to survive until the next rain.