A Hudsonia Workshop Reptiles and Amphibians of the Hudson River

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Workshop at beautiful Norrie Point (Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve headquarters, Staatsburg, NY) on Friday 13 June 2014, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. A full day with presentations, specimens and literature for viewing, lunch, and a field trip.

A workshop for consultants, biologists, students, university and high school teachers, environmental professionals, NGO staff, regulators, policy-makers, preserve and park managers, restorationists, and others involved with the study or conservation of amphibians and reptiles on and near the Hudson River estuary.

Reptiles and amphibians (the herpetofauna) are attracting attention as vulnerable and declining species, indicators of ecological integrity, models for ecological theory, and subjects of educational and aesthetic interest. Environmental professionals, naturalists, and researchers increasingly are interested in finding, identifying, studying, and protecting the herpetofauna, especially those species listed as endangered, threatened, or special concern (there are 22 E, T, and SC species in New York, exclusive of sea turtles). Most amphibians and reptiles are cryptic and secretive in their appearance and behavior, and particularly little research has been conducted on those habitats and species associated with estuaries.

Hudsonia biologists have worked with turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, and salamanders in the Hudson Valley and around the U.S. for many years. We have performed surveys, conducted research, analyzed the scientific literature and environmental documents, and planned conservation for common and rare amphibians and reptiles in a variety of habitats, localities, and land use situations. These include analyses of mining impacts on timber rattlesnake and power plant expansion on Pine Barrens treefrog; studies of bog turtle habitats in relationship to surrounding land use; surveys for northern cricket frog; research on the ecology and behavior of snapping turtle, painted turtle, red-bellied turtle, wood turtle, musk turtle, mud turtle in tidal wetlands and box turtle and painted turtle on former farmland; general herpetofaunal surveys of research preserves, barrier islands, dredge spoil disposal areas, invasive plant stands, industrial sites, and parks; surveys of mole salamander breeding in woodland pools; fifteen years of research on Blanding’s turtle response to created habitats; and surveys, habitat analyses, and species studies of herpetofauna in the tide-affected habitats of the Hudson River.

LEARN which species of reptiles and amphibians occur on and near the Hudson River, how to identify their habitats, and how to survey for them.

PARTICIPATE in a short field trip to try out selected survey techniques (e.g., cover objects, visual encounter, hoop traps, and minnow traps).

SEE AND DISCUSS the results of studies of the Hudson River herpetofauna.

REVIEW the regional (Hudson River and Hudson Valley) herpetofaunal literature.

REVIEW the species occurring in our region, their identification and habitats, and the threats to their populations.

VIEW preserved specimens representative of the regional herpetofauna.

Instructors: Erik Kiviat, PhD, a herpetologist and wetland ecologist, is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Hudsonia. Erik began participating in herpetological surveys in 1962, and has studied Blanding’s turtle in Dutchess County for 35 years. Erik is author or coauthor of papers on several species of reptiles and amphibians as well as articles on the Hudson River herpetofauna. He is also coauthor of the Biodiversity Assessment Manual for the Hudson River Estuary Corridor, author of a regional conservation book The Northern Shawangunks: An Ecological Survey, a principal in Hudsonia’s award-winning habitat restoration project for the threatened Blanding’s turtle, and author or coauthor of scientific papers, nontechnical articles, and technical assistance reports on other aspects of biodiversity, wetlands, rare species, urban environments, and ecological restoration. Jason Tesauro, M.S., will co-lead the workshop. Jason is an expert on survey and management methods for the endangered bog turtle, and conducts a variety of other herpetological surveys, habitat management projects, and biodiversity assessments in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Participation is limited and by application only, to ensure that the workshop is offered to conservationists, managers, regulators, policy-makers, and other professionals who can make the best use of the information. Please see the application form, below.

Fee: $25 per person, payable in advance (free for students – but application necessary!). Fee includes lunch and course materials. This workshop is underwritten by an education grant from the Hudson River Improvement Fund.
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Application for Reptiles and Amphibians of the Hudson River workshop 2014
Click to email application: [email protected]

Name E-mail address

Telephone: day evening cell

Affiliation(s)/Employer(s)

Mailing address

Primary interest(s) in workshop as a: Consulting Biologist Land Manager Restorationist Regulatory Agency Staff Policy-maker Researcher Engineer Student Educator Other

Primary Activities: Field Office Other

Geographic area of professional activity

Environment(s) working in: Wildland Rural Suburban/Urban

Experience with amphibians and reptiles







Professional workshops or conferences attended recently



Why I want to take this workshop and how I will apply what I learn





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