Surveying PA’s amphibians and reptile via riverreporter.com

July 2, 2013 —

All of the reptiles and amphibians identified last weekend during the first Upper Delaware BioBlitz (www.UpperDelawareBioBlitz.com) will have the double honor of being counted twice, first as residents of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation’s property in Starlight, PA, and also in the recently launched Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS).

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation (MAC HAC) is partnering with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in a 10-year project to establish a new amphibian and reptile atlas and are reaching out to all Pennsylvania nature enthusiasts for help.

A primary goal is to build an “army of citizen scientists” to help identify the distribution of herps throughout the state to enable better monitoring of changes to populations and ultimately provide more effective protection to them. Amphibians in particular are sensitive to environmental changes and all herps are increasingly impacted by loss of habitat.

Representatives of MAC HAC were on hand during the bioblitz, where more than 970 distinct species were identified in nine categories such as birds, fungi, mammals and more. To see some of the species catalogued by the BioBlitz Herp Team, visit paherpsurvey.org/search.php?r_county=803. Learn more about how you can get involved at www.paherpsurvey.org.

Read at riverreporter.com

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
www.paherpsurvey.org

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.