Designing surveillance studies for herpetological pathogens

PARC’s National Disease Task Team (DTT) published a paper in Herpetological Review on designing surveillance studies for herpetological pathogens:

Pathogen surveillance in herpetofaunal populations: guidance on study design, sample collection, biosecurity, and intervention strategies.

It is available on the PARC DTT website under Herpetological Disease Resources.


2017 Call for Abstracts


2017 Annual SWPARC Meeting to be held in Denver, CO June 1-4, 2017


We invite members of Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (SW PARC), Colorado PARC (CO PARC), and other interested parties to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations for the first ever Joint SW PARC/CO PARC Meeting! The meeting will be held in Denver, Colorado, USA, June 1-4, 2017. Presentation topics are open to any reptile and/or amphibian conservation work in the Southwestern United States and Mexico, but we are particularly interested in presentations related to our 2017 meeting theme, which is Operationalizing PARC’s Strategic Plan. Strategic areas on which PARC will focus for the next five years are network growth, habitat conservation, and species conservation. See below for the seven subgoals (IA, IB, etc.) under the strategic areas. We welcome presentation on how you, your agency, institution, or organization is already contributing to implementing one or more of these subgoals, or how you can or will contribute to accomplishing these goals.

STRATEGIC AREA I: Network Growth

Goal: Strategically grow and enhance the PARC Network with partnerships that directly impact conservation actions.

I A. Identify, establish, and strengthen connections among partners that impact important amphibian and reptile habitats and populations.

I B. Enhance and improve communication within the amphibian and reptile conservation community.

STRATEGIC AREA II: Habitat Conservation

Goal: Identify, restore, and create important amphibian and reptile habitats and connectivity.

II A. Refine, support, develop, integrate, and promote Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) across the United States and North America.

II B. Broaden opportunities for habitat management and conservation training and certifications.

STRATEGIC AREA III: Species Conservation

Goal: Support rangewide species conservation collaborative actions and complementary efforts.

III A. Facilitate collaborative development of, or implementation of existing, rangewide species conservation action plans for priority species.

III B. Identify new conservation research needs and opportunities, particularly those that could increase rigor and scientific integrity of species conservation assessments, or that could facilitate future assessments, as appropriate.

III C. Operationalize species conservation plans and actions at the agency and institutional levels.


The SW PARC and CO PARC Program Committee strongly encourages participants to consider submission for poster presentations.



  • Presentations must be based on original work. Abstracts must contain sufficient information to convey the main theme.
  • Abstracts (maximum 200 words) will be evaluated on relevance to the subject of herpetological conservation, originality, quality of writing, and adherence to required guidelines.
  • Before submitting an abstract, authors should be confident that they will attend the meeting. At least one of the authors on the abstract should register for the meeting. Withdrawal of papers creates problems. If cancellation is necessary, please contact Danny Martin as soon as possible.
  • Please conform to the submission instructions. Failure to do so will result in your abstract being returned and possibly rejected.

Submission Procedure:

All abstracts for oral and poster sessions must be submitted to Danny Martin no later than 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) Friday, May 19, 2017 by email or using the form on the CO PARC website.

Use the following format for your abstract, and refer to the example below:

  • Use MS Word, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, single-spaced, left justified
  • Use UPPERCASE for authors and indicate presenter
  • Include affiliation and address after names; email address (remove hyperlink) and phone number.
  • Indicate presentation type: Oral (or) Poster
  • Indicate presentation topic or theme
  • Leave a single space between TOPIC line, Abstract title, and abstract section
  • Use bold title case for title
  • Abstract has a maximum of 200 words
  • Limit abstract to one paragraph
  • On your e-mail subject line, use: “LASTNAME: SW PARC/CO PARC Presentation Abstract”


E-mail subject line: LOVICH: SW PARC Presentation Abstract


AFFILIATION: (REL) Naval Facilities Engineering Command SW, San Diego, CA, USA; (DJL) Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ, USA;


PHONE: (623) 236-7584


TOPIC (optional): Rangewide species conservation

The Flat-tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii) Monitoring and Management Strategy. The flat-tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii; FTHL) has the smallest range of all horned lizards in the United States. Restricted to lower Sonoran desert habitats of the states of California, Arizona, and Baja California, in the United States and Mexico respectively, this species has been the target of research studies and conservation actions for multiple decades. Increasing threats to the long-term survival of this species persist, and challenge the long-term persistence of this species throughout its range. These challenges require rigorous, up-to-date, and accurate status information essential to successful management of FTHL. In order to better understand …


After you submit the abstract by email, you should receive an acknowledgment via email within 48 hours. For more information, contact Clint Henke or Ian Jessup


Oral Presentations:

Contributed and invited presentations are limited to 15 minutes (including 2-3 minutes for questions and discussion). Session moderators will strictly enforce these limits.


Posters are an excellent medium for detailed and extended discussion of your research and allow for complex charts, graphs, tables, or photographs that are difficult to present in an oral presentation session. Posters must be 36” high x 48” wide. All posters must be displayed by Friday, June 2, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. A formal poster session will take place that evening.

Most university websites provide guidelines for preparing effective talks and posters. Please take advantage of these resources (i.e. htgat.html;



The Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation is presented annually by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), in memory of Alison Haskell (1956–2006), PARC’s first National Federal Coordinator and an active member of PARC and NE PARC. This award is intended to recognize an individual from North America who, like Alison, exemplifies extraordinary commitment to herpetofaunal conservation, has thus far been an unsung hero, and has shown exemplary commitment to building or strengthening partnerships.

That last bit about building partnerships? That’s where Greg is king. His nomination form alone was endorsed by 28 professionals with whom Greg has partnered. Greg is the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Coordinator for the Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership at Ohio State University. His many accomplishments include more than ten years of conservation efforts for Eastern Massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus), a Federally Threatened species; coordination of the Ohio Hellbender Partnership, which includes 30 public and private partners; a decade-long commitment to organizing biennial Ohio herpetological conferences; and serving as editor of and contributing author to Amphibians of Ohio. He is a co-founding member of Midwest PARC and recently spearheaded the formation of an Ohio PARC chapter! But there’s so much more he’s accomplished. This link contains more detailed info about Greg’s work.

For more information on the award, click here.


SWPARC 2017 meeting in Denver, CO June 1-4


The first ever Joint SW PARC/CO PARC Meeting will be held in Denver, Colorado, USA, June 1-4, 2017. This year’s theme is Operationalizing PARC’s Strategic Plan. Strategic areas on which PARC will focus for the next five years are network growth, habitat conservation, and species conservation.

More details​ can be found here.

Overcoming Challenges to the Recovery of Declining Amphibian Populations in the United States

Overcoming Challenges to the Recovery of Declining Amphibian Populations in the United States, published in the December 2016 issue of BioScience, covers:​

  • History and benefits of the Endangered Species Act
  • Challenges to recovery: lListing delays/biases, recovery plan development, implementation of recovery plans, and ​critical habitat designation
  • Increasing trends in petitions
  • Human behaviors that may contribute to delays in species recovery


The US Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) affords many potential benefits to species threatened with extinction. However, most at-risk amphibians—one of the most imperiled vertebrate groups—remain unlisted under the provisions of the ESA, and many impediments to recovery exist for those species that have been listed. Of the 35 US amphibian species and distinct population segments (“taxa”) listed under the ESA, 40% currently lack a final (completed) recovery plan, 28.6% lack designated critical habitat, and 8.6% lack both. For taxa that have recovery plans, the time between their listing and the development of those plans was from 2 to 29 years, and the time between their listing and the designation of critical habitat ranged from 0 to 14 years. The underlying causes of such delays in protection are complex and constitute obstacles to recovery of imperiled species. We outline a series of strategic actions by which these challenges may be overcome.

Find the full text here.

NRCS/PARC Conservation Webinar – Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Management

Presented by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – Science and Technology
National Technology Support Centers

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Management

Dec 14, 2016 2:00 pm US/Eastern

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Management

What will you learn?

Participants will learn about the importance of amphibians and reptiles, Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s (PARC) efforts to address conservation threats, and actions that can be taken to benefit this group of animals. Learn more…


Jen Williams, Ph.D., Federal Coordinator, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), Fort Collins, CO

Session Details:

Dec 14, 2016 2:00 pm US/Eastern Duration: 01:00 (hh:mm)
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*** Please join the session 15 minutes prior to the start of the webinar. ***

Who should participate?

Conservationists, Wildlife Biologists, Land Owners, Land Managers, Technical Service Providers, Others

Education Credits Units:

  • Society of American Foresters – 1 hour Category 1 Credit [status: Applied For]
  • The Wildlife Society – 1 hour TWS Category 1 Credit [status: Applied For]
  • Conservation Planner – 1 hour Conservation Planning Credit [status: Approved]
  • Georgia Master Timber Harvester – 1 hour CLE – Environment Credit [status: Approved]

Contact for more information.

Prepare your computer or mobile device in advance:
Adobe Connect instructions.

PARC is currently accepting nominations to fill the Co-chair position of the Joint National Steering Committee

PARC Friends and Colleagues:

We are currently accepting nominations to fill the Co-chair position of PARC’s Joint National Steering Committee (JNSC)! The JNSC is the governing body of PARC and guides its activities.

Length of term: 2 years, the first as Junior Co-chair and the second as Senior Co-chair

Roles and Responsibilities (Condensed):

  • Schedule, coordinate, and preside over JNSC conference calls and meetings
    • Monthly conference calls have a standing time and day (currently first Wednesday of each month from 2 to 3:30 pm ET)
  • Assist National Coordinators in determining PARC priorities
    • Planning calls are 1 hr/wk, currently on Wednesdays at 2 pm ET
  • Make executive decisions following discussion with National Coordinators
  • Attend the annual in-person meeting:
    • 2017: in Spokane, WA on March 7 (if possible)
    • 2018 & 2019: in March preceding the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources conferences
    • Travel expenses may be covered by the co-chair’s agency or organization, but may be covered by PARC if needed

Anyone running for election to the position of National Co-chair must have demonstrated leadership skills, including, but not limited to experience as a/an:

  • Regional Working Group Co-chair; or
  • Member of the JNSC; or
  • Active PARC member at the regional level; or
  • Board member of a non-profit organization and with expertise in the field of conservation.

Individuals may self-nominate or nominate others for this JNSC membership position, but when nominating someone other than yourself, please be sure that you have the nominee’s permission to do so. Please submit any nominations and questions to and include:

  • Name
  • Contact info (email and phone)
  • Brief statement (1-2 sentences) of why you are interested in the position (if self-nominating) or why you think this person would be a strong candidate (if nominating someone else).
  • Short bio of the nominee (200 words or less)

DEADLINE: 5 pm ET; Wednesday November 30, 2016

Decision and Notification:

The current JNSC members will vote in December or January; newly elected members will be notified shortly thereafter.

Thanks in advance and we look forward to your nominations!

PARC Leadership

PARC JNSC Membership

  • 2 National co-chairs serving at-large (2 seats, 2 votes)
  • 10 Regional co-chairs, 2 from each of the 5 Regional Working Groups (10 seats, 5 votes)
  • 2 Co-chairs from PARC’s Federal Agencies Steering Committee (2 seats, 1 vote)
  • 2 Chair (1) and Vice Chair (1) of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Amphibian and Reptile Subcommittee (2 seats, 1 vote)
  • 3 At-large, non-agency members, as appointed by the JNSC National Co-chairs, and subject to approval by a majority vote of the voting body of the (3 seats, 3 votes)
  • 2 National Coordinators (2 seats, 2 votes)

Roles & Responsibilities of the National Co-Chairs (Detailed)

  1. Schedule, coordinate, and preside over JNSC conference calls and meetings;
    1. Work with National Coordinators to create and distribute call agendas and minutes, or delegate as necessary.
    2. Ensure timely follow-up on action items;
    3. Ensure timely follow-up with Regional Working Group co-chairs and associated project progress; and
    4. Report PARC JNSC and national task team activities and progress to the members of the JNSC.
  2. Work with National Coordinators on the planning and content of annual PARC meetings.
  3. Serve as the overall PARC Leadership when approaching sponsors, funding sources, or communicating to the greater PARC audience.
  4. Evaluate PARC progress and success in meeting its mission including active involvement from all Regional Working Groups.
  5. Assist National Coordinators in determining priorities.
  6. Make executive decisions following discussion with the two National Coordinators; the entire JNSC will be notified of these decisions within one month.
  7. Coordinate closely with Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy (ARC) leadership, including participating in monthly ARC conference calls when possible.
  8. Coordinate on the content of the PARC webpage with the webmaster.
  9. As funding allows, attend and represent PARC at national herpetological and related conferences and events (or delegate this duty as needed).
  10. Eligibility:
    1. Anyone running for election to the position of National Co-chair must have demonstrated leadership skills, including, but not limited to experience as:
      1. a Regional Working Group Co-chair; or
      2. as a member of the JNSC; or
      3. an active PARC member at the regional level; or
      4. a board member of a non-profit organization and with expertise in the field of conservation.
    2. In addition to time commitment, prospective National co-chairs also should consider other necessary incidental costs. Prospective National co-chairs should discuss the role with their current employers to determine if the employer will approve and/or support their involvement, including travel to National PARC meetings and the use of office space, postage, telephone, copying, and the employee’s time for official PARC business, as these are all items that the co-chair may or may not be reimbursed for by the PARC organization.

2nd Annual Call for Conservation Grant Proposals from the American Turtle Observatory

American Turtle Observatory (, a conservation and research organization based in Massachusetts, is excited to announce its 2nd annual grants program to support landscape conservation for North American freshwater turtles. We will consider small awards of $500 to $1000. Applications are due by Friday, November 11, 2016.

To Apply: Please visit, complete the web form, and upload a 2 page PDF proposal. In your proposal, please outline your budget, timeline, and deliverables. The ATO grants committee will review proposals and make a final decision by November 30, 2016. Awards will be made on a reimbursement basis upon receipt of a final report.

Eligible Projects: Projects must advance the conservation of landscapes that are critical for the conservation of freshwater turtles in North America OR otherwise support long-term, field-based research or conservation. Focal landscapes, widespread species of greatest conservation need (SGCN, as determined in State Wildlife Action Plans), and range restricted taxa (listed below) will be prioritized, especially those species for which there are limited alternative funding sources.

Focal Landscapes
I. Northeastern United States and eastern Canada
II. Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain
III. Sonoran Desert
IV. Sierra Madre Occidental
V. Chihuahuan Desert
VI. Florida
VII. Greater Antilles

Widespread or Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)
I. Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)
II. Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)
III. Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata)
IV. American Box Turtles (Terrapene spp.)
V. Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys spp.)

Range-Restricted Species and Lineages (see website for details).