Above: Thamnophis elegans © Kris Kendell
The national effort to designated priority amphibian and reptile conservation areas, or PARCAs, came to Washington on August 8 and 9, and was a great success. The concept of PARCAs comes in part from the Important Bird Areas program developed by Birdlife International, and such area designations are intended to raise public awareness and encourage voluntary action by landowners and conservation partners to benefit amphibians and reptiles. Areas are nominated using scientific criteria and expert review, drawing on the ideas of species rarity, richness, and landscape integrity. JJ Apodaca and Jen Williams of National PARC managed the Washington meeting and synthesized the information contributed by a number of experts from around the region. A total of 17 PARCAs were proposed for Washington. An important aspect of PARCAs is that they are nonregulatory designations and that they are not designed to compete with existing landscape biodiversity initiatives, but rather to complement them and provide an additional spatially explicit layer for conservation consideration. The draft document outlining these areas will be available for review within the next few months. If you are interested in reviewing, please contact Betsy Howell, email@example.com, or Katy Weil,firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 10th Annual NW PARC Meeting was held in Arcata, California, on March 1, 2017, in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology (SNVB) and the California North Coast Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
( Photo of Northern Leopard Frog by Kris Kendell)
NW PARC’s 9th Annual Symposium was held February 25, 2016, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in conjunction with the week-long, annual meetings for the Washington and Idaho chapters of The Wildlife Society and the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology.
(Photo by Chuck Peterson)
NW PARC 2015 Annual Meeting: Citizen Science
We held our 8th annual NW PARC meeting and workshop at the Embassy Suites in downtown Portland, OR. The event focused on expanding science knowledge and ecological literacy through citizen science and occurred in conjunction with the Society of Northwest Vertebrate Biology (SNVB) conference, 24-27 February 2015. We heard from over a dozen citizen science experts from several organizations in the Portland area and further afield. We also heard some personal stories and experiences from a handful of citizen scientists involved with the Southwest Washington Amphibian Monitoring Project (SWAMP).
(Photo of Sharman Apt Russell, Key Note speaker, discussing her experiences as a citizen scientist. Photo by Betsy Howell.)
NW PARC 2014 Annual Meeting: Education and Outreach
We held our 7th annual NW PARC meeting and workshop early this February in Pasco, WA, in conjunction with: the Global Owl Project (BUWOC), Researchers Implementing Conservation Action (RICA), Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology (SNVB), Washington Chapter of the Wildlife Society (WATWS). This offered members of NW PARC opportunities to partner and interact with a wide variety of groups.
(Photo of Scott Peterson, the “Reptile Man,” with friend. Photo by Betsy Howell)
NW PARC 2013 Annual Meeting: Amphibian Salvage and Remote Sensing Techniques
We held our NW PARC 2013 annual meeting on April 8-9 in Squamish, BC. Our meeting opened with an address by David Pilliod who welcomed all of the participants and our new co-chair, Kris Kendell. David has served as co-chair for several years and will continue to participate as a member of our steering committee. David has been an active member of NW PARC since its inception and all of his contributions have served to strengthen our regional chapter. We are extremely grateful for his continued participation and expertise!
(Photo of Stephen Spear of the Orianne Society presenting eDNA sampling techniques. Photo by Betsy Howell.)
Amphibians and Reptiles in My Project Area; Conservation Genetics
The 2012 meeting was held in Portland and Hood River, Oregon, in conjunction with the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology and the Pacific Northwest Native Freshwater Mussel Workgroup. The first day in Portland included a number of speakers discussing considerations for improving habitats for amphibians, instructions on how to build a snake hibernaculum, and mitigation designs such as water escape ramps. During the second day in Hood River, NW PARC hosted a Conservation Genetics workshop, as well as several speakers addressing such topics as the role of photography in conservation, the interactive effects of wildfire, forest management and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance, and malarial infections in western fence lizards.
Amphibian Inventory and Monitoring Techniques; Amphibian Diseases
The 2011 meeting was held in Gig Harbor, Washington, in conjunction with the Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology. The morning part of the meeting was spent in the classroom discussing basics of amphibian identification, as well as inventory design considerations and different inventory techniques. In the afternoon, participants went to the field to learn about using such methods as electroshocking, funnel traps, and cover objects. The second day included a workshop on disease with presentations on fungal diseases, ranavirus, water molds, and malformations and trematodes.
Wildlife Conservation and Energy Development
The 2010 meeting was held in Boise, Idaho, in conjunction with the Idaho Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Topics of the day included montane amphibians and climate change, landscape genetics of amphibians, effects of post-mining stream restoration, and herp regulation in Idaho and the Northwest. Task teams from the previous years reported progress on the issues of linkage areas and important herp areas, restoration, impacts of disturbance, inventory and monitoring, disease, and training.
Wetland Construction; Ranid Reintroduction Working Group Meeting
The 2009 meeting was held at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon, and focused on wetland construction with a keynote address by Thomas Biebighauser, a biologist and wetland expert with the U.S. Forest Service. Andrew Blaustein of Oregon State University also provided a keynote address. The remainder of the day was spent on a ranid reintroduction working group meeting and the task teams’ discussion (from topics and breakout sessions that were formed during the 2008 meeting). In the evening, participants went on a tour of the zoo and saw a behind the scenes view of the herpetological captive breeding program.
Inaugural Meeting: State and Province Reports; Ranid Reintroduction Workshop
The first meeting of NW PARC was held in Bozeman, Montana, in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology. The states and provinces that make up the Northwest region all provided reports on their top conservation issues and amphibian and reptile programs. The Habitat Management Guides for the NW PARC region were introduced and breakout sessions were formed to discuss topics such as issues and priorities for herp conservation, funding, and partnerships. During the second day, meeting participants attended a field trip and workshop focusing on ranid reintroduction.