The one exception to this is the plains spadefoot which is refreshingly common in the east block during the late spring rains but is seldom seem in the west block (I put these same photos up as a response to the “gnomes of the night” post).
IMGP1650 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP0164 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP2381 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP0384 by nacairn, on Flickr
The most common species throughout the park is the charismatic little Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata). They can be found anywhere at anytime whether it’s in a prairie dog town, a water filled wallow or a soil crack in the badlands.
IMGP0182 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP7872 by nacairn, on Flickr
On a disappointing note I am somehow missing a photo of the Canadian toad (Anaxyrus hemiophrys) which occurs in the area. They are not common but can be found in reasonable numbers chorusing in the spring but are seldom seen otherwise.
A common species in the moist areas of the park is the northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens).
IMGP0369 by nacairn, on Flickr
Blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium melanostictum) are common but unpredictable throughout both blocks. I’ve observed them using prairie dog burrows in the fall and regularly find them while road cruising (even when it hasn’t rained in weeks).
IMGP7607 by nacairn, on Flickr
The western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) are found in all creeks in the park and are often found in small temporary ponds. This subspecies is one of the prettiest turtles out there.
IMGP7831 by nacairn, on Flickr
August09 003 by nacairn, on Flickr
There are apparently common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) present in the Frenchman River but I have yet to see one in 9 years.
A favorite is the greater short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi). this species is actually quite common if you are in the right area and has become my go to species when leading hikes for friends and family. They are present in both blocks.
IMGP2664 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP8011 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP7947 by nacairn, on Flickr
The plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix) a truly stunning example of the genus. Robust and common this is a great snake that you can usually find in both blocks of the park.
IMGP9856 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP1770 by nacairn, on Flickr
The western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus) is an incredibly rare (one record from each block) but very cool species. There is almost no sand in the region so it is not surprising that this species is seldom seen but the individual observed last year in the east block was gravid so there are at least two in that area.
IMGP0584 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP0572 by nacairn, on Flickr
Eastern yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor flaviventris) are present along the moist areas of the park but never seem very common. A very feisty and pretty species.
PhotoDumpSept27_2010 143 by nacairn, on Flickr
PhotoDumpSept27_2010 088 by nacairn, on Flickr
The smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) is a species dear to my heart but it reaches its Canadian western maximum in the east block with only three ever reported (all last year). This photo is from another Canadian population.
IMGP1834 by nacairn, on Flickr
The bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer say) is an increasingly hard to find species in the park (both blocks) but a rewarding species to stumble across.
IMGP1964 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP1825 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP1798 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP0015 by nacairn, on Flickr
Last but not least: the prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) can be found with some regularity in the west block but in recent years the numbers seem lower likely due to a the collapse of hibernacula in the wet spring of 2011. The presence in the east block was in dispute until an adult was discovered last year. This species was the one that initially caught my interest in the area and got me returning every year since 2005.
PhotoDumpSept27_2010 105 by nacairn, on Flickr
IMGP0755 by nacairn, on Flickr
DSC00140 by nacairn, on Flickr
Copy of IMGP0873 by nacairn, on Flickr