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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Katy Weil,email@example.com.
Above: Thamnophis elegans © Kris Kendell