amphibians and reptiles. At the time of Europe an settlement, amphibians and reptiles thrived in the varied estuarine, aquatic, and terrestrial habitats of what is now New York City. In 1927 G. K. Noble, curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, listed 70 species for the New York City area, including 3 lizards, 5 marine turtles, 11 aquatic turtles, 15 salamanders, 15 frogs and toads, and 21 snakes, among them the Copperhead and the Rattlesnake, which were rapidly disappearing. As the city grew, streams, marshes, and swamps were filled in or drained, uplands cleared, and critical habitats lost, severely reducing the number and diversity of amphibians and reptiles. Species that survived in the area tend to be aquatic species found in large lakes, and small, secretive species with simple requirements and the ability to live in parks, cemeteries, and other green areas. In addition, beginning in the 1980s, efforts to restore species to natural areas of parks were undertaken by the National Park Ser vice and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. These efforts helped to reverse some of the declines. Among the native species still common in New York City are the Spring Peeper, Fowler’s Toad (in Staten Island and Long Island), Green Frog, Bullfrog, RedBacked Salamander, Eastern Garter Snake, Northern Brown Snake, Snapping Turtle, Painted Turtle, and Diamond- Backed Terrapin (in Jamaica Bay). Several rarer species are still found in the Greenbelt in Staten Island, in Pelham Bay and Van Cortlandt parks in the Bronx, in Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, and in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Forest Park, and Alley Pond Park in Queens. Aquatic turtles are among the only species in the ponds of such landscaped and heavily trafficked parks as Central Park, Prospect Park, and Flushing Meadows– Corona Park; many exotic pet turtles are also released into these ponds, but few survive.