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!

Mudpuppy Distribution in Pennsylvania

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Wild Resource Conservation Program and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, is conducting a Mudpuppy distribution study in Pennsylvania. The Common Mudpuppy is regularly found by anglers, often caught accidentally on fishing hooks or in minnow traps. Anglers and citizen-scientist have a great opportunity to help herpetologists figure out the distribution and status of these species by simply taking a picture of any specimens encountered and emailing a picture, date, time, and location of the observation to . To find out more visit: http://machac.org. You can also download our printable flyer at https://paherpsurvey.org/doc/PARS-Hellbender-and-Mudpuppy-Alert-Flyer.pdf

New & Improved Quad and Block Search

Greetings PARSers! We have rolled out a new and improved version of the Quad and Block Map Search that includes: Color-coded blocks and quads based on species count as well as multiple county search. The URL in the Search Dropdown has been updated to the new map, the old version will be deprecated. Be sure to update your bookmarks. We hope you have a great field season. Happy Herping!


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.

Read More

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 – 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.



PARS Launches

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation is pleased to announce the launch of the Pennsylvania Amphibian & Reptile Survey (abbreviated as PARS), a new amphibian and reptile atlas created through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. This ten-year project (2013-2022) is calling on Pennsylvania’s naturalists, amateur and professional herpetologists, and nature enthusiasts in general, to join the increasing ranks of citizen scientists collecting important observations for science and resource agencies. The amphibians and reptiles of Pennsylvania need your help.

Why should we care about amphibians and reptiles?
Amphibians and reptiles are misunderstood animals that are more important to humans then most humans even realize. Reptiles and Amphibians (particularly amphibians) have been recognized by science as animals that are sensitive to changes in the environment, changes that will affect us indirectly (e.g. through ecosystem simplification or collapse due to the loss of amphibians and reptiles) or directly (e.g. chemicals put into the environment that can directly harm humans). Increasing population and urbanization are making life difficult for our amphibians and reptiles (collectively called ‘herps’ by some). Fortunately, awareness about herps dramatically increased over the past decade due to improved education efforts, and, in particular from television programs starring folks like Jeff Corwin and Steve Irwin that brought the adventure of field herping to the family living room. Even with the upwelling of support, we know very little about the distributions of amphibians and reptiles. How can we monitor changes to amphibian and reptile populations and effectively protect them if we don’t even know where they are found?

What can I do to help?
Please consider volunteering for PARS, we really need your help. People of all backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged to volunteer. Together, we can build and army of citizen scientists that can make a difference for the herps and the great state of Pennsylvania. Log on to www.paherpsurvey.org and sign-up to begin the fun. We can’t do this without you.

Please Volunteer Now

The PARS project is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (via the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grants program), with additional funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wild Resources Conservation Program. Please support these wonderful state resource agency programs.