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 raise $20,000 to support Herp Atlas projects that are not adequately funded by our grants. Is it winter yet, you ask? 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.
Visit our website at VtHerpAtlas.org
I hope you will contribute!
Donations can be made in a few ways:
• Here on our GoFundMe site (they will ask for a tip, but it is optional)
• By sending a check made out to James S. Andrews to the address below (no overhead is lost).
• By sending a check made out to Vermont Family Forests to the address below. This is our fiscal sponsor and they are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit (they take 15% for overhead costs).
Any checks should be sent to:
The Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas
642 Smead Road
Salisbury, VT 05769
We have some gifts to offer you for your contribution. Please let us know when you contribute if you would like your gift.
• $50-$99: Herp Atlas bumper sticker or a refrigerator magnet
• $100-$199: Herp Atlas art cards created and donated by local artist Ashley Wolfe
• $200-$999: You will be entered into a drawing for a group field trip for you and up to 10 friends and you will receive a herp print donated by local artist Cassidy Arden
• $1000 Plus: Private field trip for you and up to ten friends, and you will receive herp artwork donated by a local artist (a print by Cassidy Arden, or cards by Ashley Wolfe)
A short version of the 2021 Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas report (through August 10, 2021 unless otherwise noted) is included below.
Ongoing goals for 2022
The ultimate goal of the Atlas is to gather and disseminate the data that are needed on the reptiles and amphibians of Vermont in a way that involves and informs Vermont individuals and organizations so that they can become more informed and effective stewards of wildlife habitat.
Short-term goals for 2022
• Finish scanning old slides and photo prints of Vermont reptiles and amphibians and organize and reference them online.
• Scan final paper documents, including specimen records from museums.
• Continue to gather survey reports from those towns we have not surveyed in the last 25 years.
• Create and update our website with quick photo reference charts for species identification, and detailed tables that show identification and life history information for reptiles and amphibians
What progress did we make on our short-term goals for 2021?
• Scanning: we finished scanning the last of the old paper data sheets and reports, which are now easily accessible on our database and its supporting files.
• Coordinates: 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.
• Archiving Records: we have begun organizing old slides (to be scanned soon) and scanning photo prints of Vermont reptiles and amphibians.
• Office Computers: our two office computers have been replaced and updated (and work like a dream)!
• Surveys: we surveyed many towns that had not been surveyed in the last 25 years to update historic records.
• Website: we created a YouTube channel and updated our website with videos from our 2008 Rattlers, Peepers, and Snappers DVD (now out of print) and newly recorded videos from our field work, and recent presentations given. Check out our YouTube channel here
(look under Playlists for the Rattlers, Peepers, and Snappers DVD).
What progress did we make on our long-term project work in 2021?
• Contributed records: From September 16, 2020 through August 10, 2021, over 579 contributors provided 2,293 new records that were entered into the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Database. This brings the total number of reports entered to roughly 115,000. Sightings during this 11 month period came from 206 towns, cities, grants, and gores and all Vermont counties.
• Targeted survey efforts: Since November 6, 2018, Herp Atlas staff have personally visited and gathered records from 110 Vermont towns and every Vermont county (including 74 towns in 2021!).
• Field trips, presentations, and media outreach: in 2021, in-person field trips
began again in July, including those for winners of our previous fundraiser trips. We provided in-person presentations and field trips in Peru (Burr and Burton Mountain Campus), Middlebury (Hannaford Career Center), Addison (Dead Creek Wildlife Festival), and also provided an on-line training for the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and online presentations for the Vermont Nature Conservancy, and Green Mountain Audubon Society. We continued our media outreach including both radio and TV interviews. We provided background and fact checking for herp-related articles in dozens of Vermont papers and for Vermont Fish and Wildlife. Jim was also asked to testify in front of the House Fish, Wildlife, and Natural Resources Committee. In addition, Jim continued his popular Herp Update e-mailings for those who have requested them. You can see them by clicking here
Thank you for your support!
Cover photo image of a Snapping Turtle just emerging from its nest, by Pat Perry.