Herp Update: Annual Fundraiser, Atlas Progress, News – November 5, 2021

Herp Update: Annual Fundraiser, Atlas Progress, News – November 5, 2021

Our Annual Fundraiser Begins Today!

Three years ago we organized our first fundraiser. It was motivated by a decline in our regular grant funding, a pressing need to get all our data online for future use, and to assign accurate latitude and longitude coordinates to older records. The fundraiser was a huge success, so we tried it again the following year. We had planned to hold an annual winter fundraiser to support Herp Atlas projects that are not adequately funded by our grants. However, we are running out of funds earlier than expected this year, so although the first flakes of snow have just flown, we are kicking off our 2022 fundraiser early, and hoping to raise $25,000.

For more information on the variety of ways you can contribute, our gift incentives, and a summary of our recent accomplishments please visit our GoFundMe site at:


I will be sending announcements of this fundraiser out through a few lists this fall and winter. You may well receive it a few times. My apologies in advance. You can donate each time if you wish :).

Samples of Atlas Progress

So far this year we have reviewed and entered 2,622 new records into our database and Herp Atlas staff have personally gathered new herp records from 74 towns. With your help, we have gathered new records from 110 Vermont towns and every county over the past three field seasons.

During 2021 so far, we exceeded our expectations by adding latitude and longitude coordinates not only to the more unusual state heritage rank S1-S3 species, but all S4 species, and all S5 reports from Rutland County as well. This is over 90,000 of 114,000 records.

Snakes Heading Underground

We checked our snake monitoring site in Lincoln again this Monday and found no snakes. That brings an end to our snake monitoring in Lincoln this year. I hope most of the snakes have found safe places to spend the winter. They need to get deep enough underground to not freeze. You may still see some come out near the entrance of their denning locations on sunny warm afternoons.

WCAX tonight?

Cat Viglienzoni from WCAX called for an interview this week. She thought the piece might air on the local news Channel 3 (CBS) tonight (Friday). [Edited to add: link to news article and video: https://www.wcax.com/2021/11/05/drop-roadkill-tied-work-from-home/

Spotted Salamander

Mike Steele sent in a photograph (see left) of a Spotted Salamander found on his walkway on Maple Street in Bristol on Halloween. Although fall rains do provide conditions for amphibian migration, Maple Street is not where you would expect to find one. If this was a costume, it was a very small child in a very good costume :).

Bobbie Summers

I will close with a photo of the late herper Bobbie Summers holding a Common Watersnake.


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