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Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 7:38 am
by Noah M
I'll be posting the results here as I tabulate them. I've collected the data from HERP, if you had data from May 30th -June 12th, inclusive, and you have not put into HERP yet, it will not be a part of this analysis.

Right now I have 1,395 total entries, all from the United States, representing 33 states.
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, and WY.

The top states with the most entries are:

Illinois - 202
Florida - 196
California - 195
Texas - 142
Arizona 114
Nevada - 89
Pennsylvania - 81

The 1,395 entries cover 220 species (higher if you count subspecies).

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 8:55 am
by Noah M
Contribution by State, only reporting those with more than 10 entries.

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Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 9:13 am
by Noah M
The first week we started off strong, with 6 of the 7 days having more than 100 entries. By the second week, especially early in the week, things slowed down.

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If we compare these results to last years, we still pick up a trimodal distribution, but it is much less pronounced. Some days last year saw over 200 entries, something we failed to achieve this year. The closest was June 5th with 157 entries.

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Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 11:41 am
by mtratcliffe
Woah, IL and FL beat out CA and TX? That's awesome! I didn't realize it ended on the 12th - I had a whole slew of records from the 13th and 14th that I hoped would be in the window.

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 12:30 pm
by chris_mcmartin
Interesting stuff. I had forgotten there was even an naherp "summer herp count" going; I just enter (almost) everything I encounter regardless of external incentives. I moved cross-country at the end of May and had records from KS, OK, and TX; but it was just before the Summer Herp Count started.

I use naherp as my "primary" database and copy relevant records to iNaturalist's "Herps of Texas" database since that's what TPWD uses. A lot of people use H.O.T. and not naherp, because in the last week, just in west Texas, there were over 500 entries logged. I wonder how other citizen-science herp databases fared during the same time frame--to see if there is a benefit to incentives (tangible rewards or otherwise) to encourage contributions.

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 3:51 pm
by Noah M
Speaking of incentives, I was thinking of trying to make this a friendly contest. I thought bragging rights for a state (and representing chapter) would be enough, but maybe not. Maybe the president of the chapter whose state gets the most records should win a snake hook or something.

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 21st, 2015, 5:59 pm
by chris_mcmartin
Oops! I forgot to mention that the west-TX H.O.T. records-fest was in some part due to a "leaderboard" competition surrounding the Snake Days weekend, and there are indeed prizes offered for first place in one or more categories.

I recall from a year or so ago, here on FHF, that when the prospect of an incentivized contest for naherp was raised, it was shot down because it would somehow result in bad data entered...? It may have just been concern that someone could enter 50 or 500 Uta and claim victory. My counter to that is that it's 50 or 500 more records of a common species than we had before, and what happens in subsequent years when people notice they're having a harder time finding those once-common species? That kind of data can be useful.

Speaking for the H.O.T. contest--I know one of the categories is for the person with the highest species tally for the time frame. This encourages people to stop and log amphibians, which typically get short shrift in the Trans-Pecos (though they can be plentiful in the right conditions). MOST of the records I logged this year were amphibians.

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: June 25th, 2015, 12:07 pm
by Noah M
The problem with person by person records is that I don't see that from HERP. It would be a nightmare to try and figure out individual contributions during that 2 week period.

Personally I value diversity over total numbers. Scoring could be weighted based on total entries and diversity. That should help prevent somebody from entering 500 records of the same species. Something as simple as 1 point per entry per species, up to 10 points. So 10 brown anoles is 10 points. 15 brown anoles is 10 points. 15 brown anoles and 12 green anoles would be 20 points.

At least from my end, in terms of messing with the data, I think that could be achieved. Only the highest scoring states, in terms of entries, would have to be checked to see if there are more than 10 entries per species. I can pretty easily sort by state, then sort by species.

I may look back over the results from this year and see which states had the highest diversity.

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: July 5th, 2015, 12:19 pm
by mtratcliffe
Noah - do you plan on posting the species found during the Herp Count?

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: July 5th, 2015, 3:26 pm
by Noah M
I can do that. Not sure when. The summer semester has started and I've been pretty busy.

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Posted: July 6th, 2015, 2:33 pm
by chrish
I have another 30 or more records (minimum) to enter from Texas over that time period. I have to go through all my recordings and photos carefully to see how many records it represents. I doubt I will get them in for another week or two.