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Old Jun 1, 2005, 9:17 PM   #1
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Once upon a time I was working as a cataloging volunteer for the Pennsylvania Herpetological Atlas project. The goal was to divide the state up into a grid and find as many species of reptiles and amphibians in your area as you could in order to come up with a more regional distribution for each species. Since then, the results have been published and that made me wonder if I could find all of the ones in my region in one summer and get photos of them for my own teaching material (it was a several year-long study so not every species was seen every year in a given region).

Anyway, I'm trying that this year, and here are some of my successes from the past weekend. On a side note, the step ring for my 4t comes tomorrow and should make this much more fun.


American Toad




Leopard Frog




Eastern Garter Snake


American Bullfrog (had a hard time getting close...I will get a better picture eventually)



Long-tailed salamander



Northern Water Snake



Northern Slimy Salamander



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Old Jun 1, 2005, 10:17 PM   #2
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jrh312 wrote:
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Once upon a time I was working as a cataloging volunteer for the Pennsylvania Herpetological Atlas project. The goal was to divide the state up into a grid and find as many species of reptiles and amphibians in your area as you could in order to come up with a more regional distribution for each species. Since then, the results have been published.
What region are you in? Is there a link to the project's results? I live near Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia. I imagine we have a few of these reptiles and amphibians around but I dont know my aspe from a hole in the ground.
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Old Jun 2, 2005, 12:06 AM   #3
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Looks like a good start. I think I would forget the 6t and stick with telephoto for the ones like photo no. 6.
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Old Jun 2, 2005, 8:34 AM   #4
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fmoore wrote:
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jrh312 wrote:
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Once upon a time I was working as a cataloging volunteer for the Pennsylvania Herpetological Atlas project. The goal was to divide the state up into a grid and find as many species of reptiles and amphibians in your area as you could in order to come up with a more regional distribution for each species. Since then, the results have been published.
What region are you in? Is there a link to the project's results? I live near Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia. I imagine we have a few of these reptiles and amphibians around but I dont know my aspe from a hole in the ground.

I'm over in the Western part of the state. When I was involved in this project, I lived in Kittanning, but now I'm up in Erie.

I was talking to the reptile keeper at the zoo last week about the project because I knew he had been involved in it too. He said that the results were published as some kind of manual or book, but I don't think they're anywhere online. He also mentioned to me that the guy who was in charge of it seems to have been "pushed out of the loop." I didn't ask about details, but his name is Art Hulse, and he's a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (www.iup.edu). I'm sure if you email him, you could probably find out some information. If you or anyone else is interested, here's an overview of what was done with the project http://www.open.ac.uk/daptf/froglog/FROGLOG-27-3.html.

For you, if you can't get ahold of Art, I would recommend using www.enature.com for a general idea. There's a thing called "Zipguides" where you can enter your zipcode and sort the results by animal type (reptile/amphibian, mammal, plant, bird, etc). The site isn't foolproof (when I enter my zipcode, I get a few results from over your direction actually...the diamondback terrapin comes to mind), but it's a good start. The nice thing about this project is that even though a certain frog, for example, is technically distributed throughout PA, we can now narrow it down to "well it's actually only found in these 4 counties" or something to that effect. All of us got a nice dichotomous key for differentiating between all the similar species, and it had a lot of tips about very localized groups. I haven't personally seen the results yet, but when I go to work tomorrow I'm being trained by the reptile keeper again so I'll see if he can point me in the right direction. Good luck!
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Old Jun 2, 2005, 8:37 AM   #5
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tcook wrote:
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Looks like a good start. I think I would forget the 6t and stick with telephoto for the ones like photo no. 6.

lol, well I wanted scale detail, otherwise I would've stuck to telephoto. I just like the look of texture on keeled scales, and this species is about as good of an example of that in my area as you're likely to find. He wasn't too bad though, all things considered. He did bite two of us and my lens though. I'll save the telephoto for the venomous ones:lol:
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