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

TORONTO TURTLES SEND A MESSAGE

 

by Whit Gibbons

March 23, 2008

You can find out all manner of things by reading T-shirts these days. In Toronto recently I learned: "There are eight species of turtles in Ontario. Six are at risk of vanishing forever." Not everything you read on a T-shirt is funny.

I was attending the Turtle Stewardship and Management Workshop hosted by the Toronto Zoo. The heroes of the conference were the 200 dedicated Canadians who gave talks, attended meetings, or otherwise supported the conference. These people are dedicated to saving their eight species of turtles. If any of the species do go extinct, these turtle activists will make sure that the turtle destroyers are identified and put in the spotlight of public scrutiny. These are the kind of advocates it takes to get the attention of the public and government officials in Canada. They are the same kind of people who promote environmental awareness and protection in the States.

 

PEOPLE HAVE MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT GECKOS

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by Whit Gibbons

The following are comments and questions received recently about an exotic species of lizard that is becoming more prevalent in many areas.

Q - We have at least two pale-colored lizards that live beneath the wall lamp on the outside of our apartment in Orlando. Someone told us they were geckos but that they are not native to the United States. Are they harmful to people or to our native wildlife?

 

HOW MANY ANOLES DOES FLORIDA HAVE?

By Whit Gibbons

June 3, 2007

When I was growing up in Alabama and Louisiana, we called the little green lizards that could turn brown "chameleons." Today herpetologists refer to them as "anoles," saving the other term for the Old World chameleons that change their body color to match their background. Another difference between now and then is that the United States once had only one anole. Today we have at least eight species, and most of the invaders live in Florida. In the book "Anoles: Those Florida Yard Lizards" (2006 Commahawk Publishing LLC, Orlando), Steven B. Isham does a great job of making readers more aware of their presence and importance.

The style of the book is different from a basic field guide that identifies animals or plants or an ecology book that discusses the general biology of species. Instead, according to the author it is a "fascinating fantasy based almost entirely on fact. Ann and Noel are lizards that communicate with a human." Who could resist a backyard reality show in which a human communicates with two lizards?

 

WILL WE ALL BENEFIT FROM THE FROG PHARMACY ONE DAY?

By Whit Gibbons
August 20, 2006

I asked University of Georgia graduate student Brian Todd to respond to this two-part question: What good are frogs and why should ecologists study them? He titled his reply "The Frog Pharmacy."

"For many people, the connection between frogs, research, and human society may seem tenuous at best. Beyond remembering (not always fondly) the frog they dissected in biology class, most people would be hard put to describe even a single contribution frogs have made to humankind. But frogs have played an important, though little-known, role in scientific endeavors for many years. And current research suggests they will continue to do so.

 

ALLIGATORS ARE JUST BEING ALLIGATORS

By Whit Gibbons
July 2, 2006

Alligators seem to stay in the news, and they generate many questions, such as the following:

Q. Why have there been so many attacks by alligators in Florida during the past few weeks?

 

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LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?

 

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.