Herp diversity in SW Washington and NW Oregon

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jonathan
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Herp diversity in SW Washington and NW Oregon

Post by jonathan » July 18th, 2019, 4:52 am

Matt Dagrosa and I are doing a long-term survey project in NW Oregon and are looking for some information about the area. We've compiled a fairly good database of sightings, but are still specifically interested in finding information regarding any of the following.

Anyone who has herped the area, or who has access to records from the area (besides what is on VertNet/Arctos/NAHERP/iNaturalist), could you answer any of the following questions?


Clatsop County, Oregon: Do you know of any sightings for snakes other than Garter Snakes in Clatsop County? Does anyone have a confirmed T. elegans sighting? Or Western Skink? There is an old record for a Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata) in the interior of the county. Is there any chance this is a legit record or is it some kind of error? Which turtle species are there records for? Do you know of any toad sightings in recent history? We are happy with both officially documented records or personal sightings.


Columbia County, Oregon: Has anyone herped this county at all? If so, we'd like to talk to you. We'd also be interested in any museum records that may be outside of VertNet and Arctos.


Washington County, Oregon: Has anyone verified Ringneck Snake or Gopher Snake in the county? How about Clouded Salamanders? There is a record for Cascades Frogs here in "Fanno Creek Pond", how can that be explained? Also interested in any recent toad records.


Multnomah County, Oregon: Has anyone verified Ringneck Snake in Multnomah County? There are very old records for Sharptail Snake, Gopher Snake, and Western Rattlesnake in the Portland area - does anyone know of any records from the country in modern times? Are Southern Alligator Lizards still found anywhere in Multnomah County? Has anyone seen any toads in Multnomah County west of the Sandy River in recent times? Are Spotted Frogs extinct in the county?


Clark County, Washington: Are there any records of Gopher Snake, Sharptail Snake, Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, Western Rattlesnake, or Western Skink in Clark County? How about Pond Turtles? Can someone give me a verification on Dunn's Salamander, Larch Mountain Salamander, Cope's Giant Salamander, and Tailed Frog from Clark County, because those all should be relatively easy. There is an old museum record for a Clouded Salamander from Clark County, is that almost certainly a transplant?


Cowlitz County, Washington: Are there any records for Gopher Snake, Sharptail Snake, Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, or Western Skink in Cowlitz County? I believe that Van Dyke's Salamander is found there, is that verified?


Wahkiakum County, Washington: We are looking for any records whatsoever of snakes or turtles from the county (outside of the main two garters). Also, is Western Skink found there?



That should be it. Of course, if you have any especially unusual finds from any of those counties, something you think would be unexpected, we'd be interested in those too.

Nwherper
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Re: Herp diversity in SW Washington and NW Oregon

Post by Nwherper » July 18th, 2019, 3:22 pm

This area of Oregon at least to my knowledge is missing quite a few Species I would assume to be present at least in one or two decent area's of habitat. For starters if I'm not mistaken "Nate King" has a record of Elgaria multicarinata scincicauda in Washington county already from 2010, http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=47414. As for Multnomah County, I've gone to a lot of Park's/field's all over the county over the years and have never found anything more than the typical garter snake. I not only find it annoying but also very peculiar you have to drive 45 mins - 1 hour out of town to even just find a racer let alone anything else even more secretive like a ringneck. I've found one spot about half an hour from portland in Clackamas County that hold's racer's and what I believe to be Elgaria Multicarinata (found a full shed). Nate King also has a quite large racer record from Washington county but no one has anything from Multnomah and even Clackamas County is missing quite a large chunk of reptiles. Recently I've also heard of someone finding a Gopher snake near wilsonville which is encouraging. If anyone else has any information on the northern valley for reptiles I'd be ecstatic to hear it :D .

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jonathan
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Re: Herp diversity in SW Washington and NW Oregon

Post by jonathan » July 18th, 2019, 7:40 pm

Thank you for mentioning Nate's Southern Alligator Lizard, I knew about it but omitted it in error.

Multnomah County is tough for reptiles. I have a couple spots for Northern Alligator Lizard, otherwise I haven't done any better than you. I am aware of reported localities still producing fence lizard, skink, and rubber boa.

Let me know if you find anyone who would have any more information on anything that I mentioned.

Darian
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Re: Herp diversity in SW Washington and NW Oregon

Post by Darian » July 23rd, 2019, 9:28 am

Hey guys, I'm excited to follow this discussion. I am a natural area land manager in the Portland area and spend a lot of time in the field in Multnomah county, and some in neighboring counties.

What I know of reptile presence in this area largely follows the trends that have been pointed out above. I think a lot of it comes down to historical habitat type. Multnomah county was historically mostly either deep conifer forest, or bottomland hardwood forest. We had very little of the open oak forest or grassland habitat that was historically much more available in neighboring Washington and even Clark counties...and bountiful a little further south and east... as such, I think oviparous species like southern alligator, racer, gophers were likely never very populous here, even if they might have been in the near-by Tualatin valley. Throw in 150 years of habitat degredation and fragmentation, and what few were here must have become even fewer.

Anyhow, I'm interested in your project and willing to help if I can.

Darian

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