The third Annual PARS Membership Meeting is scheduled for March 25,2017 and will be held in Annville, PA. Featured speakers will include David McNaughton – Fort Indiantown Gap Office of Wildlife & Conservation,
Nathan Nazdrowicz – University of Delaware, and Kurt Regester – Clarion University.

Pre-registration is required. Members login to RSVP.


Help support Pennsylvania’s endangered and threatened reptile and amphibian species on #GivingTuesday. Donate to the conservation efforts of The Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation (MACHAC) & The Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS).


Or visit our Hellbender Project to learn more about how we are helping to preserve this wonderful species.

Hellbender Project




Since the launch of PARS we have received thousands upon thousands of voucher photos, many of which are outstanding examples of wildlife photography. Among these, certain photos stand out, whether it be for exceptional clarity, composition, behavior of the subject, or other reasons. We would like to start showcasing the quality of our best photographers with an annual photography contest. Entrants in the categories listed below will compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards, and winning photographs will appear in the last newsletter issue of each year until 2022. First place winners may see their winning photographs in or on the cover of a future PARS newsletter, or possibly in the final publication for the PARS project. One photograph will be chosen as the ‘Best of Show’ grand prizewinner each year. Photographs will be judged on composition, creativity and clarity of the shot. Prizes are limited to certificates and ribbons, but you will achieve the esteem of the herping community.


Contest Categories:

  1. Species Representation ~ These photos should be approached as though they were going to be used as a field guide representation of the subject. Adult, juvenile, larval and egg stages are all acceptable, but only two photos of each species may be submitted.
  2. Behavior – Action photos showing a specimen (or specimens) engaged in a natural activity such as feeding,courtship, etc.
  3. Herps in the Landscape – Photographs illustrating an amphibian or reptile in a classic natural landscape setting.
  4. Macro Photography – Close-up photos of any portion of an amphibian’s or reptile’s body.
  5. Free Form / Experimental – Have the urge to submit a photo in which you changed the color of a Green Frog to electric orange? This fun category is for you.

Deadline for photo submission in this year’s contest is  August 30 , 2016. Winners will be announced in the Winter2016/2017 newsletter, which will also showcase the winning photos..


Who Is Eligible?
Registered PARS participants only, including all volunteers, coordinators, land-owners, MACHAC and PFBC personnel. Participants will retain ownership of their photographs, but by submitting agree to allow MACHAC to use the photographs in any of its future publications.

Field Parameters:

  • Animals should not be unduly stressed or abused to obtain photographs.
  • Photographs must be shot on location where the animal was found, preferably within Pennsylvania’s borders.

How Many Photos Can Be Submitted?
Each year, two photographs for each Pennsylvania species may be submitted in the Species Representation category, and one photograph may be submitted for each of the other categories.

How To Submit:

  • Send photos as attachments via email to .
  • Submit using the online form here.
  • Only one species should be included in each email.
  • In the subject line write: ‘PARS photo contest’ and the species name
  • In the email text please state the species and category of entry for each photo.
  • Photos should be labeled with the last name of the photographer, a hyphen, the species name, photo format, and a number if two photos are being submitted for the same species. Example of two spring peeper photos submitted: poston-crucifer1.jpg , poston-crucifer2.jpg .

Submit A Photo

Technical Photo Criteria

  • Format for final photos: high-resolution JPG or TIF.
  • Preferred photo size 1500 x 2100 pixels or more
  • Minimum photo size 1200 x 1200 pixels
  • Photos should be smoothly pixilated even at 100% zoom.

Judging Criteria:

Photos will first be screened by MACHAC personnel to ensure criteria have been met, and then presented anonymously to a panel of three judges without photographer information. These judges will select the winning photo for each contest category. Judges may enter the contest but will not be permitted to judge their own photos. Photo judging will be based on:

  • Originality
  • Technical execution
  • How well the individual represents the Pennsylvania phenotype or morphology of the species in the ‘Species Representation’ category.


  • No dead animals (e.g., roadkill).
  • No multiple species.
  • No text, symbols, or watermarks permitted on photos
  • Hand-held or captive is acceptable if the hand (or net or container) doesn’t show in the photo.
  • Animal should comprise > 50% of the photo.


  • Photographs are donations, not purchased.
  • No prizes for this contest are awarded other than certificates and/or ribbons.
  • You will receive credit for each photo published.
  • You will retain legal rights for future use of your photographs.
  • You will be required to sign a release form that grants MACHAC and the PFBC the rights to use your photograph in any of their future publications, including electronic. Participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian co-sign for them.
  • Final size and cropping will be determined by MACHAC.

Judges Wanted:

We will need three volunteers to assist in judging the entries. Volunteer judges should have professional photography experience, preferably in wildlife photography, or other appropriate credentials. Judges may enter their own photographs, but will not be allowed to vote for their own photos. If you are interested in volunteering as a judge for the contest, please contact Marlin Corn: .

Pittburgh Tribune Review Article about PARS

A recent article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review outdoors writer Bob Frye interviews a few of our Coordinators: Ed Patterson, Mark Lethaby Chris Urban, Brandon Ruhe and Jason Poston about the PARS Project.

In what often seems to be an ever-shrinking world, there’s still room for discovery.

Ed Patterson can speak to that.

Director of Indiana County’s parks system, he has been prowling those and other lands with purpose of late. He’s finding more than might be expected, too.

Read the Full Article: Citizen science meets technology in unique herpetology survey

New Timesheet System

Yesterday we launched a new timesheet system on PARS. The new system should be easier and less complicated for volunteers. The new system will eliminate the need to sign and submit separate timesheets on a monthly basis. Instead, volunteer hour timesheet submissions are embedded in the “Add Record” form and an e-signature is applied for each day when submitting your record. You can review your timesheets under My Account.

When you select a date that has no former records submitted, a timesheet box will appear on the bottom of the “Add Record” form.

Adding a date triggers the timesheet form for dates you have not entered previous time for.

Enter all time spent volunteering on that date. Upon hitting the submit button you acknowledge that you are signing a daily timesheet that will be generated for PARS volunteer match.

Timesheet form at the bottom of Add Record when a new date has been selected. Enter your Search and Travel/Prep time by using the Hour & Minutes dropdown boxes.
Timesheet form at the bottom of Add Record when a new date has been selected. Enter your Search and Travel/Prep time by using the Hour & Minutes dropdown boxes.

Once you have submitted time for a date, you will not be prompted to submit volunteer hours on additional records with the same date.

To see your time for the month or previous months you can go to the My Account button and select the Timesheet Forms button.


Here you will be able to see the time you have entered for the current month or select a previous month to view and/or download a CSV of that month.


If you spent time herping but collected no records, participated in a PARS/MACHAC event or other activities that count as volunteer time, you can use the “Extra Volunteer Time” form by clicking the “Add Extra Time” button.


In the “Extra Time Submission Form” you will be asked to enter the date you volunteered, the total time , the activity (if you do not see an appropriate choice, choose “Other”).

Upcoming Events – Spring 2015

For some exciting new scheduled events coming up for PARS for the year. Open to the public and volunteers, join us for our PARS Introductory Presentation, PARS Workshops and Herp Walks. We hope to see you there.

March 7, 7:00 p.m. – Swamp Tromp in the Moonlight, Bucks County
Heritage Conservancy Preserved Property in Quakertown (directions given at registration) To register, contact: Tammy, 215-345-7020, ext. 107
For details, contact Kyle Loucks:

Saturday, April 11 – PARS info table at Lehigh Valley Zoo
For details, contact Kyle Loucks:

April 18, 10:00 a.m. – PARS Introductory & Herp Walk –  Indiana County
Pine Ridge Park @ Pine Lodge 857 Chestnut Ridge Rd Blairsville, 15717
For details contact Ed Patterson:

April 18, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm – PARS Volunteer Workshop Erie County
Asbury Woods Nature Center, 4105 Asbury Rd, Erie, PA 16506
Call (814) 833-7215 to make reservations.
For details contact Mark Lethaby:

April 25 –  HerpBlitz, Fulton County –
details to be announced Contact Tom Pluto:

April 25, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. PARS info table at the Lancaster Native Plant and Wildlife Festival
Overlook Park, 595 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster, PA 17601
For details, contact Jake Cramer:

May 2, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. –  PARS Volunteer Workshop & Survey, Wayne County
Lacawac Sanctuary,  94 Sanctuary Road, Lake Ariel, 18436
Call (570) 689-9494 to make reservations.
For details contact Marlin Corn:

May 15, 7:00 p.m. – PARS Update to the Lancaster Herpetological Society, Lancaster County
Manheim Township Public Library, 595 Granite Run Dr., Lancaster, 17601
For details contact Kyle Loucks:

May 16-17 – Climber’s Run Bioblitz, Lancaster County
226 Frogtown Road, Pequea, PA. 
– details to be announced
For details contact Marlin Corn:

June 27, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. –  PARS Volunteer Workshop and Survey, Susquehanna County
Salt Springs State Park – Meet at the Wheaton House near the park’s main parking area
Call or email to register: 570.967.7275
For details contact Marlin Corn:

June 28, 1:00 p.m.  –  “Gone Herping! Nature Walk” ,York County
Richard M. Nixon County Park Nature Center, 5922 Nixon Drive, York, PA 17403
For details contact Kyle Loucks,

July 11, 7:30 a.m. – Herp walk, Delaware County Glen Providence Park,
500 Block of West State Street, Media, PA For details contact Kyle Loucks,

To keep up-to-date on Events visit our events page.

Upcoming Events – 2014

For some exciting new scheduled events coming up for PARS for the year. Open to the public and volunteers, join us for our PARS Introductory Presentation and Herp Walks. We hope to see you there.

Aug 9 @ 7:00 am
PARS Introductory Presentation & Herp Talk/Walk @ Glen Providence Park
Learn More

Aug 10 @ 2:00 pm
PARS Introductory Presentation & Herp Talk/Walk @ Bucks County Audubon at the Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center
Learn More

Sep 27 @ 10:00 am
PARS Introductory Presentation & Herp Talk/Walk @ French Creek State Park
Learn More

Oct 4 @ 10:00 am
Herp-Blitz Susquehanna County
Learn More

Mobile App is Here

We are pleased to announce the release of the mobile app created by mobile mapper to work with PAHERP. The mobile app will allow you to take records in the field and sync them to the database. Members will be able to access the mobile page to find the download links for Apple and Android along with the information you need to connect the app to your account.