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Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas Fundraiser '23

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Four 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 now hold annual winter fundraisers in hopes of raising $25,000 to support Herp Atlas projects that are not adequately funded by our grants. Visit our website at VtHerpAtlas.org to learn more.

Donations can be made in a few ways:

  • Through this GoFundMe site (they take 2.9 percent of the payment plus 30 cents per transaction)
  • Via the PayPal button at our website (they take 2.9 percent of the payment plus 30 cents per transaction)
  • Send a check made out to James S. Andrews to: The Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, 642 Smead Road, Salisbury, VT 05769 (no overhead is lost)
  • By sending a check made out to Vermont Family Forests to: The Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, 642 Smead Road, Salisbury, VT 05769.* Vermont Family Forests is our fiscal sponsor and they are a registered 501c3 non-profit (they take 15% for overhead costs).

*If your fund requires that a check must be sent directly to Vermont Family Forests (P.O. Box 254, 14 School Street, Suite 202A, Bristol, VT 05443), please notify them that your donation is for the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas and please also contact us directly about your donation.

**Checks should not be made out to the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. We can’t cash them that way.

Swag

As usual, 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 (your choice, our original or our new Mandibular Liberation sticker)
  • $100-$199: Herp Atlas bumper sticker and our Herp Atlas refrigerator magnet
  • $200-$999: You will be entered into a drawing for a group field trip for you and up to 10 friends
  • $1000 Plus: Private field trip for you and up to ten friends


Ongoing goals for 2023

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.

We will continue to encourage everyone to photograph and report the reptiles and amphibians they see in Vermont.

We will review all records, correct any misidentifications, answer any questions, and respond to the contributors with useful conservation suggestions when appropriate.

We will continue to work with the local press to get information out on the natural history and conservation of all of Vermont’s reptiles and amphibians. Although reptiles and amphibians are our area of expertise, they serve as vehicle for conservation of all living things in Vermont.

We will continue to offer field trips and presentations and work with both private organizations and government agencies to help promote conservation of reptiles and amphibians specifically and all wildlife in general.

We will continue to update our website, make additional videos, and make that information available to the public.

Short-term goals for 2023

Coordinates
Over the next year, we hope to add lat long coordinates to all records of common herps from two more Vermont counties. All new records have lat longs assigned to them and all rare and unusual species have been assigned coordinates, but older records of more common herps still need lat longs assigned to them.

Field Surveys
We will personally fill in new town records or update historic records for ~twenty towns.

Publications
Working with Teage O’Connor of Crows Path we will finalize our folding Field Guide to The Amphibians of Vermont and make that available to the public.

Digitizing
We will completely finish our project of making electronic copies of all records, photos, tapes, or prints and adding those to our database. It is 95 percent completed now.

What progress did we make in 2022?

Videos
We made three new herp videos and added them to our new YouTube channel along with our video guide to the reptiles and amphibians of New England. Check them out here.

Updates
We updated our detailed information charts on frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, and lizards and made them available on our website. These charts organize and present a tremendous amount of detailed information on all of Vermont’s herptiles. Check them out here.

We completely updated our Vermont Herp Relative Abundance Tables and added them to our website. Explore the amphibian tables here and the reptile tables here.

Coordinates
We finished assigning lat longs to all species records in Rutland County and 22 out of 23 towns in Addison County.

New or Updated Town Records
Over the last two years we added 122 new town records or upgraded the records from historic or sight only, to current with photos.

Contributed records from the public
From October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, 573 contributors (433 for the first time) provided 2,783 new records that were entered into the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Database. This brings the total number of reports entered to over 118,000. Sightings in this time period came from 227 towns, cities, grants, and gores and all Vermont counties. They included all of Vermont’s native species with the exception of Fowler’s Toad, North American Racer, and Boreal Chorus Frog (probably extirpated from Vermont).

Over the past year, we have entered 26 new reports of S1 (the rarest) species, 203 reports of S2 species, 222 reports of S3 species, 146 new reports of S4 species, and 1,941 reports of S5 (the most common) species. In addition we have added negative reports (unsuccessful searches), unverified reports, reports of significant crossing areas, reports of significant herptile habitat, and data from long-term monitoring sites into our database.

Targeted survey efforts
From October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, Team Herp personally visited 47 towns to gather new records.

Field trips, presentations, and media outreach
Remote presentations were provided for Castleton College and the VT Agency of Natural Resources. We led trainings for Ascutney Mountain Audubon, Burr and Burton Academy, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and The Vermont Agency of Transportation. We finished teaching a course on The Conservation of Vermont Amphibians and taught an additional course on The Conservation of Vermont Reptiles through Hogback Community College. We also helped teach the course Habitats and Highways for the VT Agency of Transportation. Herpetological field trips were given in four towns, and a presentation on Vermont frogs was provided for the Dead Creek Wildlife Festival.

Recent Awards

Environmental Excellence Award for the Monkton Amphibian and Wildlife
Crossing, from the Federal Highway Administration (with others). 2017

Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation, from Northeast Partners
Reptile and Amphibian Conservation. 2017

Sally Laughlin Award for the Protection of Threatened and Endangered
Species in the state of Vermont, from the Secretary of the VT Agency of Natural
Resources. 2019

USDOT, Federal Highway Administration Environmental Excellence Award, for
Vermont Highways and Habitats, Road Ecology Training for Transportation
Professionals (with others). 2022

Thank you for your support!

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Organizer

Jim Andrews
Organizer
Salisbury, VT

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