UBAP staff present at Turtle Survival Alliance

UBAP staff Michael J. Dreslik and Jason P. Ross recently presented at the 2017 Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. The meeting was held in Charleston, South Carolina from August 6th – 9th and has international attendance. At the meeting, they presented a poster on the effectiveness of passage gates along the Asian Carp Barrier and a co-authored oral presentation with a collaborator on the reproduction of Common Snapping Turtles which is in press in the Canadian Journal of Zoology.

 

Hedrick, A. R., H. M. Klondaris, L. C. Corichi, M. J. Dreslik. J. B. Iverson. The effects of climate on annual variation in reproductive output in Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Oral Presentation.

 

Ross, J. P., C. Y. Feng, and M. J. Dreslik. Evaluating turtle passage gates using remote camera traps and visual encounter surveys. Poster Presentation. View Poster

Funding received to survey the Alligator Snapping Turtle

ARC Lab members Ethan J. Kessler and Michael J. Dreslik received funding from The Nature Conservancy, Indiana to conduct surveying for the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys teminckii). The surveys will be a combined effort of trapping and eDNA sampling in the Patoka and White River watersheds. The project also includes some proof-of-concept work for eDNA work at the southern Illinois release site. Survey work will commence this summer through fall.

UBAP staff present at Biology of the Snakes Conference

Members of the Urban Biotic Assessment Program, Michael J. Dreslik and Sarah J. Baker, recently attended and presented at the Biology of the Snakes 2017 Conference in Rodeo New Mexico. They gave two oral and two poster presentations.

Oral Presentations
Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Spatial ecology of the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain.

Dreslik, M. J., J. A. Crawford, S. J. Baker, W. E. Peterman, and C. A. Phillips. Detection probability and capture yield of an imperiled species.

 

Poster Presentations
Baker, S. J., M. J. Dreslik, C. A. Phillips, and M. C. Allender. Impact of snake fungal disease on population viability.

Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Factors affecting the movements of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. View Poster

UBAP staff present at the Joint Meeting of Ichtyhologists and Herpetologist

Members of the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Urban Biotic Assessment Program and Herpetology Lab recently attended the Joint Meeting of American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and Herpetologists’ League in Austin, Texas from 12 July to 16 July 2017. They presented on a variety of topics from rattlesnakes to darters and from wildlife disease to community changes. The combined topics for presentations and posters were:

 

Presentations:

Baker, S. J., M. J. Dreslik, C. A. Phillips, and M. C. Allender. Impact of snake fungal disease on population viability.

Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Factors affecting the movements of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain.

Low, K. M., M. C. Allender, C. A. Phillips, and S. J. Kimble. A ranavirus-associated mass mortality event in an Illinois amphibian community.

Ross, J. P., C. Y. Feng, and M. J. Dreslik. Evaluating reptile and amphibian passage gates using remote camera traps.

Sites, A. J., J. L. Sherwood, J. S. Tiemann, and M. J. Dreslik. Assessing the distribution of Iowa Darters (Etheostoma exile) in streams of northern Illinois.

 

Posters:

Baker, S. J., and M. C. Allender. Comparison of testing methods for snake fungal disease.

Dreslik, M. J., C. E. Petersen, S. M. Goetz, J. D. Kleopfer, and A. H. Savitzky. Spatial ecology of the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) from the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. View Poster

Sherwood, J. L., and J. A. Stein. Habitat and fish community changes in Champaign County, IL over the past 100 years.

Experts hope to increase population of endangered turtles in Lake County

Dreslik said the biggest challenge Blanding’s turtle conservation will have in the Chicago area is the landscape.

“It’s highly fragmented by roads, by industrial areas, by urbanization,” he said.

That’s one reason Chicago Wilderness is partnering with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to create a statewide Blanding’s turtle recovery plan, he said.

“We’ve done radio telemetry, tracking turtles at a very large site at Goose Lake Prairie (in Grundy County),” Dreslik said. “Those turtles were capable of moving many kilometers between wetlands. “

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Illinois team tackles mysterious disease afflicting wild and captive snakes

INHS scientists are collaborating to understand Snake Fungal Disease and its impacts on endangered snakes in Illinois. 

“We’re trying to protect an endangered species,” said INHS herpetologist and postdoctoral researcher Sarah Baker, a collaborator with Allender on several studies. “A lot of pit viper populations are declining – not only in Illinois, but nationwide. Snake fungal disease is just one more threat that they have to contend with, and anything we can do – to find effective treatments, for example, or disinfectants that stop people from spreading the disease from place to place – could make a difference for their long-term survival.”

Read complete article at the Illinois News Bureau

UBAP herpetologist accepts position with Texas Parks and Wildlife

UBAP herpetologist Jonathan Warner accepted the position of Alligator Program Leader with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. An Illinois native, Jon conducted his Master’s research on Gaboon Vipers and his PhD on Nile crocodiles at the School of Animal, Plant, and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa before joining the UBAP team. We wish him well and look forward to continued collaboration.