Second Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Funding Drive Now Starting
Herpers, last year at this time the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas ran its first public fundraising effort (very successful) for two special projects as well as to continue our long-term research, conservation, education, and outreach efforts. The special projects were scanning and archiving our original reports so that they would be available for generations, and assigning lat-long coordinates to older reports that did not have them.
Thanks to your support, we scanned and labeled 34,986 reports. We have now completed scanning original reports for 28 of our 40 native species, seven hypothetical species, and all crossing and nesting areas. These scans are now referenced in the original reports. In addition, we have successfully assigned latitude and longitude coordinates to 17,535 of our 19,005 reports of rare (S1-S3) species and we have begun assigning coordinates to older records of more common species as well.
During 2019 over 880 contributors (651 new, 229 repeat) provided 2,769 new records that were entered into the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Database. This brings the total number of reports entered to 109,674.
The 2019 reports included 24 verified reports of S1 species, 138 verified reports of S2 species, 248 verified reports of S3 species, 193 verified reports of S4 species, and 2,031 verified reports of S5 species. Reports also include unverified and negative records, amphibian and reptile road crossing locations, vernal pools, turtle egg-laying sites, and snake dens. Sightings came from 228 towns, cities, grants, and gores and all Vermont counties. They included verified reports of all of Vermont’s native species with the exception of Fowler’s Toad, Boreal Chorus Frog (probably extirpated from Vermont), and North American Racer.
We also collected and entered some interesting new records this year, including a report of a Spiny Softshell near the mouth of the Winooski River. This species hasn’t been reported there for decades, and may indicate that Spiny Softshells are moving back into that river. We also received a report of an Eastern Box Turtle in Brookline, which (in conjunction with prior reports in this area) may indicate that this is actually a native species in Vermont (as opposed to a hypothetical species).
We picked up another award this year. This one came from the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. It is called the Sally Laughlin Award and it is for our dedicated work to protect threatened and endangered species in the state of Vermont.
We thought our fundraising might be a one-time event, but federal funds remain low (one of our sources of federal funds has dropped from $20,000 in 2015 to $8,500 in 2019), and it turns out that we need your help once again to complete our two short-term projects and as well as our regular activities.
For more information, photos, videos, and funding incentives, and to make a donation please check out our new GoFundMe page at:
If you would like a copy of one our annual reports to our grantors, let me know and I will send you one.
I hope we can count on you once again to help us out. Thanks,