Charlie W. Painter Memorial Award

This award was created in honor of Charles (Charlie) W. Painter (1949-2015). It is presented annually by SWPARC in memory of Charlie to recognize an individual who lives or works in the SWPARC region and who has demonstrated excellent mentorship for students/enthusiasts in herpetology or has displayed excellence in sharing knowledge of the natural history of reptiles and amphibians.

Read more about the award: Charlie Painter Memorial Award (PDF)

Nominate: Charles Painter Award Nomination form (MS Word)

2016 SWPARC meeting in Big Bend! Registration still open!

SWPARC Annual Meeting in the BIG BEND!

When: August 11-14th, 2016

Registration: $35

Pay online through Eventbrite (link here)

Where: Sul Ross State University (SRSU), Alpine, TX. Alpine is located in the heart of Trans Pecos, Texas, approximately 1 hour from Big Bend National Park. The Chihuahuan Desert is just 30 minutes south.

ATTENTION: See detailed info for dorm information. You’ll need to bring your own linens and a towel!

 See this PDF file for more details: 2016 SWPARC Meeting detailed info 

2016 call for abstracts! Deadline extended to Aug 1st!

We invite interested parties to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations for the SWPARC annual meeting in Alpine, TX. Presentation topics are open to any herpetological conservation work in the Southwest United States and Northern Mexico. Keep these in mind:

  • Presentations must be based on original work. Abstracts (maximum 250 words) must contain sufficient information to convey the main theme, objectives, results, and conclusions of the work.
  • Oral presentations are limited. The planning committee will determine which abstracts are selected for oral or poster presentations.

Submission Procedure:

Please, submit all abstracts to Sean Graham ( by Aug 1st, 2016.

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

  • Use Microsoft Word or equivalent to save a DOC file, 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
  • Leave a single space between address block and abstract
  • Use Bold Title Case for title
  • Abstract has a maximum of 250 words
  • Limit abstract to one paragraph
  • On your email subject line, use LASTNAME: SWPARC Poster Abstract


AUTHOR(S): DOE, JOHN Z. (presenter), and DE LA CRUZ, MARÍA J.

AFFILIATION: (JZD) School of Environmental Squamatology, University of the Dunes, Lost Wages, NV 87654, USA; (MJC) Colegio Nacional de Herpetología, Facultad de Lagartijas, Casilla 550, San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán, Argentina;


PHONE: (888) 555-7777


SWPARC workshops at JMIH meeting in Reno, NV

Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation is hosting the following workshops on Monday, July 20, 2015 at the JMIH Annual Meeting:

Student Workshop: Getting Started With Your Field Work

8:30 am-12:00 am (break 10:00-10:30 am)

  • Permit application process
  • Biosecurity protocols (including useful tools and equipment)
  • IACUC and Animal handling/animal care
  • Species selection and potential conservation implications
  • Field notes – recommendations and best practices for recording your data and notes

Venomous Reptiles Workshop: Safety Practices and Myth Busting

Instructors: ML Robinson, Jason L. Jones, and John Potash

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm (break 3:00-3:30 pm)

  • Safety equipment
  • Safe handling techniques
  • Correct identification of venomous reptile species in our region
  • Myths, facts and fiction
  • First aid – general overview and discussion of antivenin uses

Please email for more information.

In Memoriam: Charles “Charlie” W. Painter (1949-2015)

It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Charles Wilson Painter, Charlie, on 12 May 2015. Charlie has been near the hub, if not the hub, of herpetology in New Mexico since the mid 1980’s. Charlie was born on 23 February 1949, and grew up in Arkansas and Louisiana. His passion for herpetology manifested early, and it stuck with him throughout his life. When Charlie wasn’t working on herpetology, he was wishing he was. Even during his service in the US Army in South Korea, Charlie amassed a collection of over 1,500 specimens of amphibians and reptiles.

CharliePainterHe obtained his MS in Biology in 1976 for research based on an inventory of amphibians and reptiles of Colima, Mexico. After continuing graduate studies at University of New Mexico, Charlie conducted inventory and monitoring studies of amphibians and reptiles of the Gila and San Francisco river drainages in New Mexico. In 1985 Charlie began his career as the first state herpetologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish,  He held that position for more than 28 years, retiring in December 2013. Tireless energy, inclusive collaboration, and staunch defense of New Mexico’s amphibians and reptiles are the hallmarks of Charlie’s career at NMDGF.

Among his greatest achievements were his leadership to produce “Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico”, which he co-authored with William Degenhardt and Andrew Price (1996), ushering legislation on “Regulation of Commercial Trade of Amphibians and Reptiles [ NMAC-N, 31 October 2001], and publishing more than 80 articles, reports and other scholarly works on many species of amphibians and reptiles. He was recognized as Wildlife Professional of the Year multiple times, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gila Natural History of the Gila Symposium, and in 2013, Charlie was awarded the Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation by PARC.

Amphibians and reptiles were not the only beneficiaries of Charlie’s energy. He cared about people more than he cared about herps, and encouraged numerous young students of herpetology to not give up and to follow their dreams. Charlie connected people professionally as well as personally, and was key in establishing connections among herpetologists within New Mexico and across the country. He truly was the nexus of New Mexico Herpetology.

Charles W. Painter is survived by his loving wife and partner in herpetology, Lori King Painter, his daughter, Ashley Painter, stepdaughter Kelly Senyé, and all the friends that have been so lucky to revel in his energy. We will profoundly miss him. We count ourselves lucky to now bask in our memories of Charles W. Painter.

A memorial grant is in development, with details forthcoming, for which donations will be accepted to continue Charlie’s legacy in supporting students pursuing their passion in Herpetology.

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!