Friday, April 29, 2011

Great Worcester Herp Search, May 14

Reptile, amphibian search May 14

The eleventh annual Great Worcester Herp Search will take place Saturday, May 14 when volunteers scour county lands for reptiles and amphibians.

Sponsored by the Coastal Bays Program, Delmarva Low Impact Tourism (DLITE), Salisbury Zoo, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Salisbury University, the search kicks off at 9 a.m. at Furnacetown off Route 12 near Snow Hill. A brief pre-hunt training session will feature live turtles, snakes, frogs, and salamanders and explain ways to identify them in the wild. It is free to the public and will be held to prep volunteers for searching four Worcester County sites in the morning and afternoon.

Last year 204 reptiles and amphibians representing 20 species were the result of the search held in Worcester County. Finds included mud turtles, worm snakes, ringneck snakes, and rough greensnakes. Box and snapping turtles were found along with five-lined skinks and seven species of frogs and toads.

In Worcester, there are approximately 19 species of snakes, 15 species of frogs and toads, eight species of salamanders, 13 species of turtles, and four species of lizards. The search will provide data to help DNR scientists better understand population trends in this declining group of vertebrates as they continue the first ever Maryland Herp Atlas.

This year’s sites include public and private parcels in the heavily forested southern part of the county in both the coastal bays and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. No animals are harmed or removed from the wild during the search.

Participants should bring a sack lunch and drinks. For Wicomico residents, a Salisbury University van will leave the Henson loading dock at the NE corner of the Henson building on the campus at 8 a.m. Please email Dr. Ron Gutberlet at to let him know you’ll be hitching a ride. Groups will return from the field around 12:30 p.m. for lunch then hunt again until approximately 5 p.m. All children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Sunscreen, mosquito and tick repellant, bright clothing, and boots are a must.

For more information call Dave Wilson at the Coastal Bays office at 410-213-2297.


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