The infamous John Rucker Turtle Dogs have returned to Illinois this spring to and have garnered a lot of media attention. INHS PaCE Lab M.Sc. student Andrea Colton has been there, searching for, collecting data, and marking the turtles. Check out some of the media stories and Andrea’s slideshow:
PACE Lab graduate student Devin Edmonds has been working to save one of the most threatened amphibian species in Madagascar. Listen to an interview he did with Amphibiacast about Mantella frogs, his time working in Madagascar, and his graduate research to conserve the Harlequin Mantella. A new conservation action plan will be released in the coming months.
Listen to the episode
Learn more about Devin’s research
PACE Lab leader Mike Dreslik was interviewed by the News Gazette to answer a reader’s question: “After reading the article about Snake Road in southern Illinois, I started wondering what species of snakes are found here in central Illinois? Have any new species been found over the last few years, with the milder winters?”
In addition to listing off species found in the area, Dreslik said, “Although it seems the winters are getting warmer, especially as spring approaches, we have not seen any new species of snakes moving into Illinois, we just see snakes emerging from their winter slumber sooner.”
Read the complete response at the News Gazette
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. “
UBAP Malacologist Sarah Douglass was featured as a Woman in Science.
Read the article from the Prairie Research Institute
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