Dedicated to the conservation of the herpetofauna.


The Mission of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation:

"To conserve amphibians, reptiles and their habitats as integral parts of our ecosystem and culture through proactive and coordinated public-private partnerships.”

Herp Articles

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Herp Articles

WAS THE CROCODILE HUNTER AN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR?

By Whit Gibbons
September 10, 2006

As everyone knows, Steve Irwin, the popular TV personality known as the Crocodile Hunter, died recently when the barb of a stingray pierced his chest. For days after his sudden death, an endless rain of opinions, reflections, and interpretations about his life and untimely death could be found on numerous Web sites and in news media. Because he worked mostly with crocodiles and venomous snakes, which are reptiles, he was viewed by many as a herpetologist. So what do herpetologists have to say about him?

 

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY EXTINCTION

by Whit Gibbons

February 14, 2007

"Extinct" is a word that will continue to exist, as it has for five centuries. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used in 1432. Like many commonly used words, "extinct" can be depicted in different ways, including five fairly discrete categories Dinosaurs and millions of other prehistoric species can be placed in the category of prehuman extinction, the end-line of natural evolutionary processes, a condition no human can be blamed for. The next category is that of human-caused extinctions, such as the passenger pigeon and dodo bird, although no one alive today can be held accountable.

 

CAN WE NOW PROTECT THE GOPHER FROG?

by Whit Gibbons
December 10, 2006

This column was inspired by two seemingly unrelated events. First, Michael Dorcas of Davidson College and I are in the process of writing a book called "Frogs and Toads of the Southeast" to be published by the University of Georgia Press. Second, when the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives reconvene next month they will have a different configuration. What is the common thread between these two situations? Environmental protection, specifically, protection for the gopher frog.

 

LET'S MAKE SURE THE FROGS KEEP CALLING

by Whit Gibbons

March 5, 2006

Bad news again about amphibians, especially frogs--we all have to learn a new term, chytrid fungus. Amphibian biologists already know the word well because of scientific evidence confirming that the fungus is responsible for the deaths of frogs. In tropical America and Australia, the disease caused by chytrid (pronounced kit-trid) fungus is already suspected of leading some species to extinction.

 

SHOULD WE TEACH CHILDREN TO FEAR NATURE?

by Whit Gibbons

February 19, 2006

The following quote from a conservation listserv last week is a chilling comment about educating today's children. "The news article is part of the continuing trend of telling children that nature is better feared than appreciated." The article was about a North Carolina proposal to change the laws at licensed childcare centers across the state, making it illegal to bring reptiles into classrooms.

 

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Who is PARC?

Our membership comes from all walks of life and includes individuals from state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, museums, pet trade industry, nature centers, zoos, energy industry, universities, herpetological organizations, research laboratories, forest industries, and environmental consultants.