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Herp Atlas Newsletter Autumn 1998

Herp Atlas Logo
Herp Atlas Logo

HERP ATLAS NEWSLETTER

New York State
Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project

Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

FALL 1998 NUMBER 7

Late Summer and Early Fall Herping

Graph of the bi-monthly frequency distribution of reported activity dates for reptiles and amphibians from survey cards submitted from 1990-1997

It is easy to get excited about herps in the early spring. We are all anxious to get outside when the air begins to warm in late March and early April. Soon, the ice recedes from ponds and you can't wait to hear the first wood frogs calling. Salamanders are also easy to find as they are crossing roads en route to their breeding pools, and spring peeper calls fill the air. Later in the spring and early summer, reptiles become active and a sequence of frog calls can be followed as one species finishes breeding and another begins. But what about late summer and early fall? This, too, is actually a great time of year to look for herps and we'd like to encourage you to try it this year.

John Ozard recently created bi-monthly frequency distribution reports to provide an indication of our volunteers' activity throughout the year. The bar graph to the right shows the number of herp survey cards that were submitted during 24 two-week periods from January through December. As you can see, most of our volunteers go out searching for herps in the early summer and then their activity level drops off as the season progresses.

With the end of the summer upon us, and knowing that this is the second-to-last season for the Atlas, we'd like to encourage you to take some time to look for herps this fall. The cool nights and sunny mornings that are typical of this time of year create the perfect scenario for basking snakes and turtles. Young turtles hatch from their nests during late August and early September, and fall rains bring salamanders to the surface to forage. There is still a lot of great weather ahead of us; let's make the most of it by exploring for herps!

*** CORRECTION ***

The spring newsletter was printed courtesy of the Upstate Herpetological Association whose name was incorrectly printed as the Upstate Herpetological Society. Thanks again to UHA for supporting the Herp Atlas.

Yet Another Internet Update

In addition to the links through SUNY Cortland and the New York State Museum, we can now be located through DEC's web page. In November the address will change to: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7140.html. You will now find preliminary distribution maps based on Herp Atlas data for the 70 species in New York. There is also a link to our e-mail address where you can send us questions or comments.

NY Natural History Conference V

The New York State Museum is hosting the New York Natural History Conference V on October 14th through 17th. This is a great opportunity to learn about current research on the natural history, anthropology, geology, and history of New York State and the Northeast. Find out more by visiting the Museum's home page at: www.nysm.nysed.gov.

Your Library

There are several new publications of interest to naturalists in New York. "The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region" by James H. Harding, (University of Michigan Press. 1997. 378 pp) is not only a beautifully illustrated book, but a bargain as well at only $19.95. This book covers most of the species found in New York, including some you might not expect such as tiger and marbled salamanders, Fowler's toad and five-lined skink, which are found only in the eastern part of the state. The Peterson Field Guide series has issued a revised third edition of Conant and Collins' Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians. The distribution maps have been placed with the species description and photos have been added to supplement the illustrations. For those of you with a technical interest, The American Museum of Natural History has published "Hybrids and Genetic Interactions of Mole Salamanders (Ambystoma jeffersonianum and A. laterale) in New York and New England" by J.P. Bogart and M.W. Klemens (1997. 78 pages). Good reading and herping.

This issue of the newsletter was printed courtesy of The New York Chapter - The Wildlife Society

New York State Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project
NYSDEC
Bureau of Wildlife
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4754


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