News & Announcements mid-November 2017

PARC AnnouncementsFederal Register Announcements, and Herp Conservation News.

PARC Announcements

Webinar: Conservation and Management of Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southwestern United States. Tuesday, Dec 12th at 12 pm MT. The final in a 5-part series of webinars. Please see this flyer for more information and to register for the webinar. A special thank you to the US Forest Service for sponsoring the webinar!

Federal Register Announcements

Herp Conservation News

Herp Conservation News November 2017

New articles, papers, and links of interest:

Herp Conservation News October 2017

New articles, papers, and links of interest:

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.




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.


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.

Southwest Habitat Management Guidelines book now available on Amazon!

Southwest Habitat Management GuidelinesPARC Friends and Colleagues

The wait is over! Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (SW PARC) is pleased to announce that the Habitat Management Guidelines (HMGs) are available for purchase! This long-awaited publication was unveiled and available for purchase at the SW PARC annual meeting in Alpine, Texas in August 2016.

It is now available for online purchase via Amazon, for $15/copy plus shipping. If you are an Amazon Prime member, shipping is free! Bulk discounts also are available when ordering by the box (1 box = 15 copies); for every 15 copies ordered, you will receive $25 off. 

Here is the suggested citation:

Jones, L.L.C., K.J. Halama, and R.E. Lovich (editors). Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southwestern United States. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Technical Publication HMG-5, Birmingham, AL. 193 pp.

This is the final HMG for the U.S. It is lengthier than the other four because there are more species of amphibians and reptiles in the Southwest (439 species) than elsewhere in the country, and habitats are correspondingly diverse. While we may think of the Southwest as being strictly an arid land, there are many exceptions. In addition to the deserts, grasslands, and shrublands, it also includes: high mountains with woodlands, forests, and tundra; coastlines; wetlands; and subtropical habitats. There are also unique management challenges for this region, such as international border security and persistent drought in an already-arid landscape.

The SW HMG is rich with high-quality color photographs in an easy-to-read format. It should be a valuable asset to resource managers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah, as well as bordering areas.

Southwest PARC thanks the many authors, photographers, reviewers, and sponsors for their patience and commitment.

All proceeds go toward recouping our costs and building reserves toward our next PARC product.

PARC to launch “Habitat in Focus” campaign

On the first day of SpringMarch 20, 2015PARC will be launching its new long-term conservation campaign: Habitat in Focus. The Habitat in Focus campaign is an entirely new approach to PARC outreach that concentrates on identifying, creating, managing and restoring high-quality habitat for herpetofauna. Here is a sample of some of the diverse products and outreach efforts planned for this campaign:

  • Highlights of habitat management successes and tips to benefit herpetofauna.
  • Electronic versions of regional Habitat Management Guidelines (HMGs) to be made available which will allow for more widespread distribution of this valuable guidance for improving habitat for amphibians and reptiles.
  • Help for herpetofaunal habitat. Several PARC regions have produced guides for making an amphibian and reptile-friendly backyard. We will be working with Partners to develop guidance for various habitat certification and incentive programs to increase benefits for herpetofauna.
  • Habitat restoration training workshops. Multiple wetland restoration training workshops (coordinated through the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy) are planned for 2015.

And this is where YOU come in; we want to promote the great work YOU’RE doing to help inspire others!

We invite you to share your stories of habitat restoration, land acquisition and conservation projects, as well as examples of good management or changes in management that maintain or improve herp habitat throughout this campaign. These will be uploaded to PARC’s social media channels and website, as well as distributed through our Partner’s communication channels. These updates should be short and no more than a couple of sentences that focus on:

  • Who did the work?
  • Where the work was done or is being done?
  • What was done or is being done?
  • Why was it done or is being done?
  • What species are benefiting or will benefit from this project?

Example: “The Idaho BLM Burley Field Office completed hand cutting of encroaching juniper trees on 775 acres of aspen stands once occupied by western toads. By removing the competing junipers, the project is expected to promote aspen recovery over the long term, and maintain the more mesic conditions desired by toads.”

Please include at least one photo (more photos are welcome), along with photographer credit(s) with your project update.

Text and photo(s) should be sent to:

We can’t wait to learn and share how you are putting Habitat In Focus for herpetofauna!

PARC receives The Wildlife Society’s Group Achievement Award

This just in from the PARC listserve:

We are honored to report that on Sunday evening, during The Wildlife Society’s Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation received The Wildlife Society’s Group Achievement Award, which recognizes an organization’s outstanding wildlife achievement. PARC joins other imminent conservation organizations, including the Wildlife Management Institute, the Nature Conservancy, the [International] Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and many other productive and respected wildlife conservation groups as a recipient of this award. Read more about the award and past winners here:

Special thanks to Dr. Jessica Homyack, current SE PARC Senior Co-chair and active member of The Wildlife Society, who submitted the nomination with support from several active PARC members, including those who are also members of The Wildlife Society. 
And, PARC couldn’t win such an award without the tireless efforts of our members and product/project development volunteers throughout the country who engage through our Regional Working Groups and growing number of State Chapters, who have made us become group with so many notable achievements. Thanks to all of you!
We are humbled by, and so grateful for, this recognition from such a pre-eminent conservation organization as The Wildlife Society. We will post photos from the award ceremony on our website soon!