I have left our GoFundMe fundraiser site up and running for the last six months. That seems about as long as I can stretch it for what we called an annual fundraiser. One of the reasons I have kept it running is that some folks are still contributing. The other reason is that we did not quite reach our goal of $20,000 for 2020. As of today we made it to $17,431. This is $2,569 short. Which is really pretty good, but I want to close out this fundraiser for the year, so that there is at least a short gap (~4 months) between this year’s fundraiser and next year’s. Please do consider making an additional (or your first) contribution through our GoFundMe link below. I will shut down the site at the end of this month…honest :).
Lat long coordinates
I have some great other news. One of our major goals for the year was to assign lat long coordinates to all S1 through S4 records for which we had exact locations. We have now done that. We have lat long coordinates assigned to ~75,000 of our 112,000 records. This is a huge step in the right direction.
Another goal was to scan all the original reptile and amphibian records. Last month we sent off our Timber Rattlesnake reports to be scanned. This was the last of the species binders. We still have some more project binders that need to be scanned, but once again we have made huge progress and I am really pleased.
Our newest print version of our Atlas was on hold while our printer (Middlebury College Reprographics) was closed due to the pandemic, but now they have reopened and I expect to have the final version in hand this week and available next month.
New reports this year
So far this year we have entered ~2,400 new herptile reports. This compares to last year’s total of 1,700 by this date. I believe the increase is due in part to the Covid pandemic. More people have been outside working on gardens, taking hikes, and enjoying other sorts of outdoor recreation and finding reptiles and amphibians. In addition, we have continued to have some good press through Vermont Fish and Wildlife press releases.
These reports include 36 species. This is all the amphibians with the exception of Fowler’s Toad, Boreal Chorus Frog, and surprisingly, Mink Frog. Reports include all our reptiles with the exception of Spotted Turtle.
One of the most unusual recent reports was a report of an Eastern Box Turtle in Brattleboro. Box Turtle reports come in at the rate of about 1 every three years. Some of these are assumed to be released or escaped pets, but there is a cluster of reports in the Brattleboro/Putney/Newfane area that may well be our own population of native Eastern Box Turtles.
Yesterday I reviewed another very interesting report. It is a report, including photos, of Common Watersnakes from Springfield, VT. In eastern Vermont, Common Watersnakes have until this week, only been found in Vernon and historically from Brattleboro. A population in Springfield is a huge jump north.
So, please do consider a contribution before I close down this years GoFundMe site.
We are in the middle of our fundraiser. Please visit our GoFundMe site to find out how you can help: https://www.gofundme.com/f/tvfmw-vermont-reptile-and-amphibian-atlas