Amphibians & Reptiles Program Manager
Tom’s job is to direct amphibian and reptile conservation in the state. People are often surprised to learn that Arizona Game and Fish is charged with overseeing these species at all, but they’re all part of the 800 total species the Department manages.
Another thing most people don’t realize? Most of the species his team deals with are actually listed under the Endangered Species Act or are otherwise challenged in a conservation sense. “We have over 130 species of amphibians and reptiles in our state,” Tom explains. “Some of them are in dire need of conservation. Others are doing quite well. But it’s our responsibility to make sure that we keep those common species common and that we get the more rare species back to where they were before so that they don’t need any protections from us or from the federal government.”
While Tom’s team of six handles most of the real field work these days, he’s still happy to get out and hands-on when he can. “I find everything to be fascinating. We get to see neat amphibians and reptiles all the time and they all fascinate me and I really enjoy getting out into the field and seeing them.”