SRARNZ is a society of mainly professional herpetologists whose aims are to:
- promote the scientific study of all aspects of the biology of the amphibians and reptiles of the New Zealand region
- promote the conservation of the indigenous amphibians and reptiles of the New Zealand region
Herpetology is the scientific study of amphibians and reptiles. Although these two classes of vertebrates last shared a common ancestor about 320 milion years ago, they have a similar ectothermic physiology. They are “low-energy specialists”, with an impressive ability to make use of the sun’s energy (rather than internal metabolism) to raise body temperature.
By global standards, New Zealand’s native reptiles and amphibians are especially good at operating at low body temperatures. Their way of life often involves long life-spans and infrequent reproduction, meaning that rates of population increase are low. Thus, they are vulnerable to disturbance.