Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2008 IRCF Show Schedule

We're steadily working on appearing at the following reptile shows to help bring awareness to endangered reptile conservation. This is a great opportunity for you to meet the faces behind IRCF and learn about how you can make a difference!

Highlights from 2007 shows: http://www.ircf.org/news122507.php
More photos can be seen in the IRCF on the Move section in the IGUANA journal.

Due to logistical constraints, IRCF has been primarily able to attend only West Coast venues. If you wish to help represent IRCF at shows in your area, please contact Sandy Binns at sb [at] ircf.org

To date, these are our planned shows to attend:
August 9-10
San Jose Reptile Show
San Jose, CA
IRCF attendees: John & Sandy Binns, Mike Kern

November 8-9
Michigan Society of Herpetologists
Annual Reptile and Amphibian Super Expo 2008/
24th Annual Midwest Herpetological Symposium
Radisson Hotel Detroit-Livonia
Livonia, MI
IRCF attendees: Desiree Wong

Planning still in the works:

September 6-7
North American Reptile Breeders Conference
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, CA

September 13-14
Sacramento Reptile Show
Sacramento Convention Center
Sacramento, CA

October 4
Wildlife Conservation Expo Day
Mission Bay Convention Center
San Francisco Bay Area, CA

October 11-12
North American Reptile Breeders Conference
Tinley Park Holiday Inn Select & Convention Center
Tinley Park, IL
November 15-16
North American Reptile Breeders Conference
Chantilly, VA

Attended Shows:
February 23-24
North American Reptile Breeders Conference
Arlington Convention Center
Arlington, TX
IRCF attendees: Desiree Wong, Jen Periat, Jane Billette, Bob MacCarger, Joel and Courtney Ebarb, Susan MuleThank you to our members Jen, Jane and Bob for travelling out to TX, as well as local members Joel, Courtney and Susan to assist with the show! Our show animal will be Kismet, a female cyclura hybrid. Very appreciative "Thank yous!" to the show promoters Bob Ashley and Brian Potter for our donated exhibit space; we appreciate your support! Look for us next to fellow IRCF member Nigel Marven!!!
April 12-13
University of IllinoisChicago, IL
IRCF attendees: Desiree Wong

Saturday, March 01, 2008

2008 Herpetology volunteer opportunites

Note, I also post this on my blog on myspace; will try to keep information synchronized as best as possible.

I thought I'd share these this year; will update as I learn of new opportunities.


Andros Iguana Research Expedition, Bahamas
March 22-30, 2008. Days will be spent carefully capturing iguanas for data gathering and translocation. Field work on the islands will be completed throughout the morning and afternoons.

Blue Iguana Captive Facility, Grand Cayman
May through July, 2008, Opportunities for those interested in caring for the captive Blue Iguanas and their offspring, monitoring nesting in the QE II Botanic Park, and other related activities.

Blue Iguana Field Activities, Grand Cayman
February through April 2008, and August through December 2008. Fieldwork opportunities to assist with population monitoring, trail network expansion and mapping, setting up iguana retreats, release in the wild and more.

Continue to check the IRCF website for upcoming field events and activities.


From: PARC Announcement
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 7:09 AM
Student and Volunteer Research on Mexican Reptiles and Amphibians

Applications to participate in our Sierra San Luis, Mexico Herpetofauana Research Project are now being accepted. This project takes us to one of the most remote "sky island" mountains along the borderlands of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. The sky islands are home to some of North America's most unique herpetofauna, including New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnakes, Crotalus willardi obscurus, a focus of our work. We will be elucidating the effects of fire and cattle grazing on the abundance and distribution of reptiles and amphibians, and giving insights into how best to make land-management decisions.

Students and volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds may participate in this unique research and hands-on learning experience. Participants will take part in visual-encounter surveys and trap techniques, while assisting with animal handling of some species and laboratory procedures.

Visit www.ReptileResearch.org for application materials and details on this and other opportunities to work with reptiles and amphibians in Latin America. Contact apply@reptileresearch.org for inquiries.

HerpDigest: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on The Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Science
Volume #8 Issue #8, Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg

4) Amphibian Doctoral Graduate Fellowship Available For Fall 2008

Influence of climate change on the distribution and ecological roles of terrestrial amphibians

One Ph.D. fellowship is available in the IGERT Ecosystem Informatics Program within the Department of Forest Science at Oregon State University starting in October 2008. The focus of this study is to develop species distribution models for terrestrial SALAMANDERS in Oregon and New Hampshire. Also, experimental field research and and mathematical modeling will be focused on the role of salamanders in the forest floor food web in relation to a changing climate. Field research will be based at H.J.Andrews and Hubbard Brook Experimental Forests. The fellowship includes $60,000 over 4 years, tuition and fees for 2 years, and a research allowance. We seek applications from individuals with the following qualifications: (1) a Masters degree in forest ecology, wildlife ecology, entomology, soil ecology, or related disciplines, (2) evidence of strong quantitative skills, (3) an excellent academic background (see IGERT requirements) and (4) field experience.

Application information for the IGERT Ecosystem Informatics program can be found at:http://ecoinformatics.oregonstate.edu/new/apply.html

Preference will be given to applications received by 1 March 2008.

Interested persons should contact:
Matthew G. Betts, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Forest Wildlife Landscape Ecology
Department of Forest Science
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon 97331 USA

HerpDigest: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on The Latest News on Herpetological Conservation and Science Jobs, Seminars and Bibliographies –
HerpDigest Volume #8 Issue #6, Monday, February 4, 2008
3) Research Technicians Position Announcement – The Terrapin Project

We seek to fill 4 research positions assisting on a population study of diamondback terrapins on the Georgia coast. The positions are full-time, in residence positions from April 1-June 30, 2008 [start dates are negotiable] and pay a monthly stipend of $1500 plus free lodging. Work occurs at variable hours, weekdays and weekends, is physically demanding [see description below], and involves work from small boats and in the water.

Stipend: $1500/mos for 3 months plus free lodging.

Amenities: Free lodging will be available at a GDNR owned facility in Darien, GA. Rooms will be shared by two people, and house includes full kitchen, 2 full baths, living area, and computer with high-speed internet access. Residents must bring their own linens and are responsible for their own food.

Typical Work Day: Because work depends on tidal cycles, work times are variable and begin between 5:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Work begins by packing gear, loading truck, and tending to the boat. Travel to sites varies from 30 minutes to 2 hours by car and additional time by boat. Boat travel is generally calm, but can involve travel through choppy water (3 to 4 foot waves). Each day, 1-2 tidal creeks are seined for turtles by wading up to 1 km up and back through shallow water and muck dragging a 36 ft seine. Turtles captured are then measured and marked on the boat before release, which typically takes 1-4 hours. The work day ends after arriving back at the house, and all equipment is unloaded and cleaned.

Qualifications: This job is physically demanding. You must be comfortable and able to travel by small boat and wade in knee deep mud and swim across deep pools while pulling a 36-foot seine. Applicants must also be comfortable with outdoor work including biting insects, heat, and regular encounters with other wildlife including crabs, sharks, alligators, dolphins, and stingrays. This job also requires persons capable of working and living in a small group for extended periods. Finally, while not required, applicants with a demonstrated ability to show care and respect for field research are highly desirable.

Still interested: Though it involves physically demanding, this job is very rewarding and enjoyable. You get to live and work on the coast, and will see diverse wildlife and environments. This is an ideal opportunity for students interested in research experience or simply looking for a great life experience.

Please submit letter of interest and a resume to:
Dr. John Maerz
c/o: Mr. Andrew Grosse
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
4) Research Assistantship Available For Studies On The Conservation Ecology Of Eastern Box Turtles

Funding is available to support a combined research/teaching assistantship on the success
of mitigation methods used to reduce the impacts of major highway construction on
Eastern Box Turtles in central Maryland. Specifically, the project will help determine
whether on-site relocations and wildlife corridors are beneficial to Eastern Box Turtle
populations adjacent to a new interstate highway. Students would be expected to use data
generated from their studies for a Master's thesis at Towson University. The stipend is
currently $12,000/year, plus a full tuition waiver, per diem, and travel costs. The
assistantship will begin in May 2008. Deadline for applications is 15 March 2008, but early applications are encouraged.

The ideal student for this position is self-motivated, works well independently, and has a
strong interest in conservation biology of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles. The position
will require long hours in the field under moderate conditions (often alone) and exposure
to many hungry ticks. Prior research experience with radiotelemetry is helpful (but not
required), as is experience with data management.

Towson University is located just a mile north of the vibrant city of Baltimore, Maryland.
TU's Department of Biology offers outstanding opportunities for graduate students in
several areas including ecology, conservation biology, molecular ecology and
conservation, and animal behavior. Towson University has three active herpetologists on
the faculty and many graduate and undergraduate students working on herps. Previous
graduate students have gone on to Ph.D. programs at a number of major institutions or
have found employment with state or federal management agencies. A complete list of
departmental facilities, our current Graduate Faculty, and their teaching and research
interests is available on our web site at:


For additional information, contact:
Richard A. Seigel
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Towson University
Towson, Maryland 21252
5) The Oceanic Society is searching for a student/intern to do research in their leatherback nesting beach in Galibi, Suriname (this is not the previous email I sent announcing a biologist position in Belize).

Although the Oceanic Society has specific beach/population monitoring goals, they are willing to consider different research projects as long as the main question fits into the Oceanic Society's aim to protect the leatherback nesting beach at Galibi.

This position is from April until August and includes housing, meals and airfare. It is a great opportunity for graduate students starting their research projects because there is a
strong probability of continued funding.

If this interests you and you would like more information contact
Mario J. Mota at
6) Sea Turtle Technician Partnership
Dewees Island and Cape Island, South Carolina

Cape Island, SC is an undeveloped remote barrier island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge which averages well over 1,000 loggerhead sea turtle nests each season. Sea turtle activity accounts for almost 1/3 of all nests in South Carolina. The lack of access to the remote island makes it challenging for federal biologists and volunteers to do beach patrols, nest relocation, nursery maintenance, predator removal, nest inventories, and nesting turtle research. Early morning small boat access and kayaking during extreme tides are required during the summer nesting season.

Dewees Island is a privately developed ferry access barrier island south of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and north of Charleston, SC. The Dewees community has a strong environmental focus, with approximately 60 homes, native landscaping, sand roads, and golf cart transportation. There are no commercial interests such as stores or restaurants on this isolated barrier island. Dewees averages 10 – 15 sea turtle nests per season, but allows for easier community access and educational opportunities through beach patrols, nest relocation, nest inventories, stranding coverage and educational nature center exhibits and presentations. The Dewees Environmental Program staff oversees and organizes these nesting and hatchling efforts with community volunteers.

A sea turtle technician position funded by The Deedee Paschal Barrier Island Trust helps meet the needs of both islands. Three days per week of man power for Cape Island with dormitory housing on the mainland (Awendaw, SC). Boat access to Cape Island with Refuge Biologist and seasonal staff is provided. Two days per week on Dewees Island is required to cover morning nest patrols and appropriate relocations and inventories. The remainder of the day on Dewees will require working in the Nature Center and Wet Lab to cover community educational opportunities, fieldtrips and animal husbandry. Ferry access, dormitory housing, and golf cart transportation will be provided for the remainder of the week by Dewees Island.

The intern shall report directly to both the US Fish and Wildlife Chief Biologist on Cape Island and the Environmental Program staff on Dewees Island.

1. Minimum three years undergraduate work in marine biology, ecology or related science.
2. Outgoing and independent personality; strong communication and leadership skills required.
3. Prior sea turtle nesting management experience preferred (additional training provided).
4. Ability to work a non-standard work day, including weekends, holidays and night shifts.
5. Ability to endure extreme summer and outdoor conditions (heat, bugs, salt, sand, etc.)
6. Ability to carry heavy equipment (up to 50 lbs.)
7. Ability to operate an ATV vehicle (training provided).
8. Ability to work and live independently in an extremely remote island lifestyle.
9. Boating experience preferred.

1. Conduct early morning or late evening beach patrols on assigned day in order to identify sea turtle nests and/or stranded sea turtles.
2. Assist as needed with Dewees Island’s various educational and research projects.
3. Conduct educational programs for nature-related groups, and assist in facilitation of research projects by visiting scientists as directed by the Refuge Biologist or Dewees Environmental Program staff.
4. Promote and practice stewardship of the all barrier island facilities, properties, and research equipment.
5. Understand and agree to dormitory and housing regulations. Both dormitories are a shared living space and personal effects are NOT provided (linens, toiletries, etc.).
6. Ability to provide your own transportation between Awendaw, SC and the Dewees Island Ferry Landing on Isle of Palms (approximately 20 miles).

A 3 month stipend of $3,000 plus housing will be provided for 40 hours/week of work starting mid-May through mid-August (turtle nesting season). An additional 3 month stipend from mid-August through mid- November (hatching season and research) of $1,500 plus housing as needed is available with a required college credit independent study. The Trust requires a strong research or education project that will be in association with college course credit. At a minimum, these results will be shared at a regional professional meeting and on the Trust’s website.

To inquire about the sea turtle intern position or to submit your resume, please contact:

Sarah Dawsey
Refuge Biologist
US Fish & Wildlife Service
5801 Highway 17 North
Awendaw, SC 29429
(843) 928 – 3264

Deadline for application is March 21, 2008 for mid-May start-up.

HerpDigest: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on The Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Science
Volume #8 Issue #1, Monday, January 7, 2008
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg

2) Looking For M.S. Students Interested In Herpetological Research For The Fall Of 2008.

From John S. Plyacyk of the University of Texas at Tyler

I am looking for Master’s students to populate my new and very empty lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas at Tyler. I am interested in two main types of students: 1) those interested in herpetological research, and 2) those interested in conservation genetics, molecular ecology, phylogenetics and systematics, chemical ecology, and behavioral biology. The latter need not specifically be interested in herps. Examples of current lab projects include conservation genetics of Butler’s gartersnake, Texas horned lizards, salamanders, and turtles, phylogenetics of gartersnakes, horned lizards, and box turtles, and geographic variation in morphology, behavior, and life-history traits and the influence of plasticity and genetics on that variation. If you would like more information, please contact Dr. John Placyk at jplacyk@uttyler.edu.

John S. Placyk, Jr., Ph.D., AssistantProfessor/Department of Biology/University of Texas at Tyler/3900 University Blvd./Tyler, Texas 75799/Office: 903-566-7147
HerpDigest: The Only Free Weekly Electronic Newsletter That Reports on The Latest News on Herpetological Conservation, Science
Volume 1 Issue 84, Sunday, December 30, 2007
Publisher/Editor- Allen Salzberg

2) Summer Field Course In Conservation Biology, With An Emphasis On Amphibians, Turtles, And Reptiles
A field course in Conservation Biology will be offered at the Lakeside Laboratory from June 2nd to June 27th 2008. Lakeside Lab is located in Northwestern Iowa, along the intersection, from east to west, between the Eastern Deciduous Forest and Great Plains, and along the intersection, from north to south, between the recently glaciated Lakes Region and the older, better drained, and more variable stream systems associated with Missouri and Mississippi River uplands.

A combination laboratory and field course, Conservation Biology examines the history of the Upper Midwest from the retreat of the latest glaciers to the present day. Northwest Iowa is a landscape of lakes, wetlands, prairie, and oak savannah; it is also a place of intense agriculture, an area of concentrated summer tourism, and it hosts a wind farm. In this context, native ecosystems will be compared against altered ecosystems, and the processes of restoration will be measured against these extremes. Students will participate in a habitat restoration and should bring rugged clothing, sturdy boots, heavy canvas gloves, and a hard hat.

The herpetofauna of this area is well known. Highlights include the turn-of the-century (19th to 20th) commercial collections of 20 million leopard frogs/yr, the pioneering surveys of Frank Blanchard in the 1920s, and more recent findings that bear on the global problems of amphibian malformations and declines. We will visit the only known Prairie Rattlesnake populations in Iowa.

For information about Lakeside Lab (soon to be updated for 2008) see:
Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

For more information about the course, contact Mike Lannoo at:
Michael J. Lannoo/Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology/Indiana University School of Medicine/Holmstedt Hall, Room 135/Terre Haute Indiana 47809 mlannoo@iupui.edu

3) Undergraduate Research And Training In Reptile Ecology In Spring 2008

There are openings for two undergraduate researchers to participate in field based research in lizard ecology. Field work will take place in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica (15 to 29 March 2008).

All travel and living expenses are covered, and a generous stipend is provided.

In addition to field work, students will receive a broad introduction to reptile ecology and field methods. I can work with students to try arranging credit with their home institutions. In previous years, students were able earn 2-3 credits for participation.

The research team will consist of six Native American and Pacific Islander students. Funding constraints limit participation to Native American and Pacific Islander students.

Interested students who qualify can contact:
Doug Eifler/Erell Institute/Haskell Indian Nations University/Box 5018/155 Indian Avenue/Lawrence, Kansas 66046 deifler@erellinstitute.org 785-424-3397

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Still time to get your IRCF December 2007 IGUANA journal!

It's not too late to receive the latest journal! The cover features a young Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana Delicatissima). Learn about the Amethystine Python (Morelia kinghorni) the Puerto Rican Ground Lizard (Ameiva exsul), and more! See what IRCF members have been up to in the IRCF on the Move section. For the downloadable table of contents, please refer to http://www.ircf.org/iguana/toc.html

Thanks to IRCF Membership promotion support from Blue Iguana Products (a division of Carib Sea), new members can receive shipped a 10 quart bag of CoCo Soft substrate through February 29th.

The promotion code can be found in the downloadable ad at http://www.ircf.org/news122507_1.php

To subscribe, visit http://www.IRCF.org and select The Journal. Don't forget to enter your promotion code!

By being involved with IRCF, you can help raise awareness and save endangered reptiles! Your part can make a difference!