Due to the ongoing threat of the 2019 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Pandemic (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19), the 2020 PARS Annual Meeting scheduled for April 25th in Bellefonte has been canceled. As with many others around the world we are watching the situation closely with both concern and hope that these uncertain times pass quickly. We plan to reschedule the meeting for the fall of 2020 but this will, of course, depend on what transpires in the coming months. On behalf of our board, staff, and partners, we want to take the opportunity to tell all of you how greatly we appreciate your efforts and ongoing support. We look forward to seeing old friends and new at the annual meetings and it was with heavy hearts that we made this decision. But it was an obvious choice and likely not surprising to most. The last thing we want is to jeopardize the health of PARSers. We hope April 25th can be a day of individual field observations and block-busting around the state in lieu of meeting attendance. If you venture into the field, make sure it is consistent with suggested recommendations regarding shelter-in-place orders and social distancing. Do not risk your health and safety or that of loved ones. Please follow the guidance of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the following links:
Don’t forget to submit your amphibian and reptile observations to paherpsurvey.org. And remember, even common species like the Eastern Red-backed Salamander and Eastern Gartersnake are important for the PARS project. We look forward to seeing your collective observations from around Pennsylvania. If you can’t venture far afield, perhaps enjoy the daily record submissions vicariously.
As with all trials in life, find comfort in the Persian aphorism, this too shall pass. We look forward to the day when PARSers around Pennsylvania can once again join together en masse to share the passion and joy of field herpetology. Until that day, stay healthy and be safe. And happy herping!