Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

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jonathan
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Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by jonathan » December 16th, 2014, 8:24 pm

I'm going to do a writeup on NAFHA in 2014, and I want to make sure that I have all the info for the Northeast chapter. Here's what I know so far:


Surveys and research assistance

Andrea and Mike were "Frog and Newt Specialists" in a watershed blitz put on by the Wild & Scenic Westfield River committee in Massachusetts.

Kyle, Bob, and Andy verified the Eastern Earth Snake in Pennsylvania for the first time in 50 years.

Several NAFHA members helped verify the presence of the new leopard frog species.

Did anyone help out with the Southborough Open Land Foundation’s Beals Preserve (Massachusetts) herp survey in April?



Trips

JeffreyRichard headed up a trip in Connecticut in April

The NE Chapter Outing was held in June at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in Virginia

Several NE herpers attended the 2014 National Meeting in Arizona and New Mexico

Were their any other outings?



Data

7,504 NAHERP records were entered for the Northeast Chapter for this year, bringing the total records for the Northeast up to 42,584. The breakdown for 2014 finds is Connecticut - 102, Delaware - 325, DC - 0, Maine - 14, Maryland - 2197, Massachusetts - 868, New Hampshire - 33, New Jersey - 1090, New York - 242, Pennsylvania - 2141, Rhode Island - 0, Vermont - 66, Virginia - 217, West Virginia - 210).


NAHERP data requests involving the Northeast included:

* One from York College of Pennsylvania to help create a habitat model for Fowler's Toad in Pennsylvania.

* From the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey for the NE states from Massachusetts to Virginia for all Diamondback Terrapin data in order to add to the information in the Regional Terrapin Ocurrence Layer that will help build a predictive habitat model to inform the conservation strategy and identify potential suitable habitat data gaps.

* From Dr. Jean-David Moore for all Eastern Redback Salamander records to help determine whether lead-backed morphs of the speies are really linked to warmer climates.

* From the Delaware Heritage Program for all records in the state of Delaware to help update their state rankings for reptiles and amphibians, which are then used in funding requests and management and conservation decisions.


Previous requests include multiple requests by the Maryland Herp Atlas for all reptile and amphibian records in the state of Maryland, multiple requests by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey for updating the location info of a number of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species, by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance for all species on the Pinelands National Reserve in order to help improve conservation within the pinelands, by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources of wood frog breeding ponds in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in order to do a study of the effects of ranavirus on wood frogs, by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program for all species in Pennsylvania for the PFBC database and pending Penn Herp Atlas project, a request by the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History for all Mediterranean House Gecko records in order to test models of range expansion, and by the Bucks County Natural Areas Inventory Update Project in order to improve current and trending data on Bucks County's (Pennsylvania) herpetological inventory.



Education Events

Kyle Loucks led the "Quakertown Swamp Tromp" in March, a vernal pool presentation with PARS introduction

Garrett gave several classes on reptiles and amphibians( both native and exotic), at least one at the Fern Hollow Nature Center in March and at the Creek Connections Symposium in April

There was a herp talk for PARS during Reptile Week at Richard M. Nixon park in June. Did anyone from NAFHA help out?

I think Kyle led a Herp Walk/Talk in Glen Providence Park in Pennsylvania in August.

Bob did a presentation on Staten Island in November.



Anyone know about anything else for the chapter this year?

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spinifer
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Re: Northeast NAFHA chapter accomplishments in 2014 - more i

Post by spinifer » December 16th, 2014, 9:50 pm

Im still entering records, so if you pull the quantities again right before your write-up they will likely be higher.

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Mike VanValen
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Post by Mike VanValen » December 16th, 2014, 11:22 pm

I think several folks helped verify the presence of the new leopard frog species.

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Post by ZantiMissKnit » December 17th, 2014, 11:51 am

My records are still coming in. I know one person who volunteered for the Southborough Open Land Foundation, but Im not sure if he is a member.

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Post by kyle loucks » December 17th, 2014, 3:46 pm

Bob and I discovered an Andy Wolfe found a 'dor' Eastern earth snake leading to the discovery of 3 more individuals marking the first time in 50 years the species was observed in the state. Bob F. and I found the third individual.
I had a few other events in 2014.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA chapter accomplishments in 2014 - more i

Post by ZantiMissKnit » December 18th, 2014, 7:05 am

kyle loucks wrote:Bob and I discovered an Andy Wolfe found a 'dor' Eastern earth snake leading to the discovery of 3 more individuals marking the first time in 50 years the species was observed in the state. Bob F. and I found the third individual.
I had a few other events in 2014.
You two were also very heavily involved with PARS, and Bob did at least one presentation this year (he just did that one in Staten Island last month).

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Re: Northeast NAFHA chapter accomplishments in 2014 - more i

Post by The Jake-Man » December 18th, 2014, 10:55 am

I've done a decent amount of public herp-related activities, like co-leading a herping team during a bioblitz, collaborating with local conservancies and non-profits to survey restricted-access land, writing informative articles, and giving presentations. However, I don't know if these would necessarily be considered NAFHA chapter accomplishments, as they were all done through, or as a result of PARS.

What do you guys think?

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Post by incuhead2000 » December 18th, 2014, 5:17 pm

Still entering my records in the database and also added a few more records for MARA.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA chapter accomplishments in 2014 - more i

Post by jonathan » December 19th, 2014, 3:38 am

The Jake-Man wrote:I've done a decent amount of public herp-related activities, like co-leading a herping team during a bioblitz, collaborating with local conservancies and non-profits to survey restricted-access land, writing informative articles, and giving presentations. However, I don't know if these would necessarily be considered NAFHA chapter accomplishments, as they were all done through, or as a result of PARS.

What do you guys think?

That's a good question Jake.

On one hand, I don't think it's not really a NAFHA activity if you would have done it anyway with or without NAFHA, and NAFHA was in no way involved.

However, I also that a vital function of NAFHA is learning about the opportunities that are out there and getting each other involved in them.

So I'd say that whenever we've involved in herp-related work like this, we should try to use our NAFHA connections to get the word out about it and share what can be done with others. And the same goes with getting PARS involved in NAFHA-inspired work. It doesn't really matter who organizes the event - the more networks involved, the better.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA chapter accomplishments in 2014 - more i

Post by ZantiMissKnit » December 19th, 2014, 5:44 am

jonathan wrote: However, I also that a vital function of NAFHA is learning about the opportunities that are out there and getting each other involved in them.

So I'd say that whenever we've involved in herp-related work like this, we should try to use our NAFHA connections to get the word out about it and share what can be done with others. And the same goes with getting PARS involved in NAFHA-inspired work. It doesn't really matter who organizes the event - the more networks involved, the better.
^^^Yes.
Whether a NAFHA event, PARS event, or another conservation-related event, getting involved and letting others know there are opportunities out there that they can become involved in, is an accomplishment in itself. I think that part of our goal should be to inspire others to become involved in some way, big or small.

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Post by jonathan » December 19th, 2014, 10:22 am

I added a couple of the additional happenings. Would like to add more, but need a bit more specifics about the place, date, and people involved for some of the vague things mentioned.

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Post by jonathan » January 6th, 2015, 1:02 am

I just updated the final 2014 database entry numbers for the Northeast in the above post.

The summary for NAFHA's 2014 events across the nation is now posted at Everything that Happened with NAFHA in 2014.

If you want more details for other chapter, go to the individual sub-forums.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by Jeffreyrichard » February 18th, 2015, 10:33 am

My wife and I repeated our annual participation in the MassWildlife Headstarting program for Northern Red Bellied Cooters; hatchlings are from Plymouth Co MA. We raised 13 and they were release in May. We currentlyhave another batch (12) for release this coming May.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by ZantiMissKnit » February 25th, 2015, 11:32 am

jonathan, I've been thinking about your PM this morning with your thoughts about the chapter. Would you mind presenting those thoughts to the chapter-at-large, so we can all discuss?

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by jonathan » February 26th, 2015, 12:50 am

No problem.

After spending a lot of time canvassing NAFHA members across the country, I realized that I probably had gotten more of an overhead view of NAFHA than anyone else has been privy to. So I thought I might PM some of the chapter officers that actively want to keep the engagement up with my thoughts on the activity I've seen.

When I did the NAFHA summary for 2014, I was struck by how many things the Northeast chapter did well. You collect a ton of data, partner with a number of other groups, solicit lots of database requests, and you participate in a diverse range of chapter activities – group trips, education events, etc. The Northeast Chapter has more data than anywhere else outside of California, and Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey are three of the most well-represented states in the database. Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island stick out in their lack of data, but that's for obvious reasons.

So it's nitpicking to make any suggestions, but I'm curious – why haven't their been any ongoing long-term site-surveys in the Northeast Chapter like the ongoing NAFHA surveys in the Southeast in the manner of the Baton Rouge survey, McDowell Survey, or various California chapter surveys?

Of course, I can think of good potential reasons for it, but it might be worthwhile to see if anyone in the chapter would like to spearhead something like that in a place where the combination of herpers and friendly land management might make it possible, worthwhile, and fun.

The only other suggestion I would make is trying to make the opportunity for more people to collaborate together - lots of stuff happening, could be great to get more people involved in it.

Back in 2010, my favorite NAFHA trip ever was getting to participate with the NE Chapter in a survey all over Delmarva Peninsula, thanks to the hard work of Nate and Kyle, among others. I think I racked up around 20 lifers on that trip and had some fantastic memories. Thank you for that.


Here are the database totals, by my count:

7,504 NE records in 2014, 42,584 NE records total

This year
Connecticut 102, Delaware 325, Maine 14, Maryland 2197, Massachusetts 868, New Hampshire 33, New Jersey 1090, New York 242, Pennsylvania 2141, Rhode Island 0, Vermont 66, Virginia 217, West Virginia 210, District of Columbia 0

Overall
Connecticut 994, Delaware 2034, Maine 123, Maryland 10,029, Massachusetts 3111, New Hampshire 222, New Jersey 8623, New York 1489, Pennsylvania 13,124, Rhode Island 57, Vermont 439, Virginia 1455, West Virginia 882, District of Columbia 12

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by ZantiMissKnit » February 26th, 2015, 6:33 am

The other officers and I were talking about this yesterday. One thing we would like to do is to have "representatives" for each NE state within the chapter, so we have someone to go to for anything that comes up. That person would be able to volunteer for potential surveys, try to build a relationship with the state (hard) and grassroots organizations (easier) for conservation purposes. They could also help organize local "field trips" for potential spots.

I've been meaning to contact a few "Friends of..." organizations for some of our local parks, to talk with them about the herps they have in their parks, to hopefully work with them to get the public to appreciate them. I have my data for each place, so I can give them a recap of what species can be found there, and why each one is special. We do have a FHF member, beemaster, who is on the board of one such "Friends of" organization, and who does conduct "snake walks" there in the spring time. Another park I'd like to work with is an immensely popular place, with a historic mansion on the property, that has a pretty active calendar and has a vernal pool nighttime walk each year.

I have found that many people I run into out in the field are curious about herps, but there is always the small portion of the population who are freaked out, especially by snakes.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by ZantiMissKnit » February 26th, 2015, 8:18 am

Our chapter faces a few challenges, as well. Geography, for one. We cover many states, most of which are densely populated (thus adding hours to out-of-state, and even in-state, trips). It's difficult to get a group together, which is why we'd like a trusted representative in each state.

Then there's the whole trust issue. I think we all know that there are state officials who keep an eye on this forum. Anyone can read most of the forum without being a member; that's how I found the forum in the first place. Some states are less friendly to field herpers than others (and, really, it all depends on the individual officer, I have found), and I can't say I blame them much. Hell, I don't blindly trust anyone and I have to get to know a person before I'll take them to one of my spots. That's not even a guarantee that they are on the up-and-up, or that they won't tell others about said spots. Many of us have been trying to build personal relationships within our respective states, but I can see why a F&G officer would lump all herpers together.

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by axeman2729 » February 27th, 2015, 6:20 am

wow I would like to say kudos to the Northeast Chapter to all their accomplishments in 2014. I would also like to congratulate Andrea on a very successful first term!

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Re: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list

Post by axeman2729 » March 2nd, 2015, 8:12 am

also I went to a camp at Allegheny college that was all about creek ecosystem didn't know whether that would count as a trip

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