The Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS)
is an important state-sponsored atlas project launched in 2013. PARS will determine the distribution and status of all amphibians and reptiles throughout Pennsylvania, building upon previous atlas efforts and combining modern technology with an army of citizen scientists known as "herpers" (herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles, and herps is slang for amphibians and reptiles). The project is a joint venture between the PA Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) and the Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation (MACHAC), funded by the PFBC (via the US Fish & Wildlife Service's State Wildlife Grants Program), the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Wildlife Resources Conservation Program), and MACHAC.
MACHAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of amphibians and reptiles through advocacy, education, and execution of research by professional herpetologists and ecologists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Major partners and funding sources for programs include the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service (US Department of Agriculture), United States Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Major MACHAC projects also include the study and recovery of state and federally-listed amphibians and reptiles, notably important initiatives centered on the Bog Turtle and Eastern Massasauga.
Amphibians and reptiles
(collectively called herps by some) are important species found in just about every Pennsylvania landscape. Very little information about Pennsylvania’s has been collected through the years when compared to other groups of organisms. This is unfortunate as herps are important indicators of the health of our natural places and the very presence of certain species can tell us a lot about an area.
PARS needs volunteers,
from skilled professional scientists to the most amateur naturalist, to create an army of citizen scientists to help tell us about the status and locations of Pennsylvania’s herps. Please visit our website for more info and sign-up to volunteer today.