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!
This year, the meeting featured a workshop that explored the range of remote techniques available for monitoring amphibians and reptiles. These methods allow researchers or managers to detect and monitor species (especially elusive ones) with reduced sampling effort and minimal disturbance to individuals. A number of experts delivered presentations during the first afternoon of the meeting, followed by hands-on demonstrations of several approaches the next afternoon. Invited speakers represented a range of organizations and discussed topics that included: eDNA (environmental DNA - a technique that allows for the detection of target species from samples collected from water or soil), applied molecular techniques (using DNA to indirectly assess the movement of animals across the landscape or to detect and track disease), camera traps (cameras activated by animal movement), automated photographic identification (software that enables identification of individuals based on color pattern), telemetry and pit tag RFID antennas (using equipment to directly track the movement of animals), and song meters (acoustic recording to identify species such as frogs).
The second morning of our meeting opened with National and Regional PARC updates and was followed with an open discussion on amphibian and reptile salvage practices in BC. Such practices involve the removal and relocation of species from a development site as a means to minimize negative impacts and are becoming increasingly common, particularly in Canada. We then heard a series of case studies where such methods were used. In addition, there were several posters on display and presenters provided a brief overview of their projects.
The meeting was a success - over 50 people attended, we formed new partnerships, and had some great discussions! We express our gratitude to everyone who participated and helped to make this meeting happen.