Saving the Harlequin Mantella

Mantella cowani frog

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

 

PaCE Lab at the Illinois State Fair

Smokey Bear using snake tongs

Members of the PaCE Lab exhibited in Conservation World at the 2019 Illinois State Fair, providing information and education to over 500 visitors. In addition to displays about the research being done by the group, visitors were able to try their hand at using actual field equipment used by scientists in their daily work.

The Illinois Bat Conservation Program had a mist net deployed where visitors could untangle, identify, and measure bats, all while wearing leather gloves.

The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation group had snake tongs, hooks, calipers, and radio telemetry equipment available for visitors to try to wrangle snakes into a snake bag, measure turtles, or track a hidden turtle.

Other activities included Build-a-Bug, where people can assemble the arthropod of their dreams (or nightmares) from a variety of general and specialized appendages, Wheel of Migration, about the risks migratory birds face, and locating PIT-tagged animals.

Smokey Bear using snake tongs
Gray Treefrog picked the right tent to visit
Wheel of Migration
Build a Bug
Vin Vasive wrangling a snake with a hook
Build-a-Bug

Hourly Research Assistant needed

A technician is sought to collect demographic data on amphibians collected from drift fence arrays surrounding vernal wetlands in central Illinois and reptiles from cover board arrays in old field and prairie habitats in central and northern Illinois. The technician will work independently and with others to collect data on amphibian and reptile demographics (identify, count, weigh, mark, and measure species). Records data manually and electronically into a database using a tablet. Prepares, under supervision, data summaries and quarterly reports. The technician will be responsible for decontamination of sampling equipment and boots, maintenance of equipment and fences, data entry, data management, tissue collection, amphibian and reptile marking and operate a variety of hand tools, electronics, and mechanical equipment such as 4WD vehicles and Utility Terrain Vehicles.

Work is performed in prairie and wooded environments where there is exposure to extremes of weather and temperature. The work requires moderate to strenuous physical exertion such as long periods of standing, walking over rough, uneven, rocky, steep, and muddy surfaces; bending, crouching, stretching, lifting, and carrying up to 40 lbs. Long hours in the field should be expected and some work on weekends may be required. Duration of the season will be from mid-January through August 2019.

For more information and requirements see: https://blogs.illinois.edu/view/7426/717784

Graduate Research Assistanceship available in Amphibian Ecology and Conservation

M.S. Research Position in Amphibian Ecology and Conservation

Drs. Michael Dreslik (Illinois Natural History Survey) and John Crawford (National Great Rivers Research and Education Center) are seeking a graduate student to pursue a Master of Science with the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences department at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). This is a funded project that will investigate the population ecology and demography of Jefferson-complex (Ambystoma jeffersonianum and A. platineum) and blue-spotted salamanders (A. laterale) in Illinois. Census techniques will include the use of drift fence arrays, minnow trapping, and dip-netting. There will be opportunities for the student to ask additional ecological questions within the study system. Additional research responsibilities will include: entering and analyzing data; presenting results at scientific meetings and writing scientific reports and manuscripts.

Competitive applicants will have: 1) a B.S. in Biology, Ecology, Wildlife or other related fields; 2) field research experience; 3) a strong work ethic; 4) ability to work well with others; and 5) a valid driver’s license. The successful applicant will be expected to enroll at the University of Illinois for the Spring 2019 semester (November 1 application deadline). Preference will be given to students with prior experience working with amphibians and/or drift fence arrays. To apply, combine cover letter, resume/CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information (e-mail and phone) for three references into a single PDF document and submit by e-mail to Michael Dreslik (dreslik@illinois.edu) with the subject heading, “AmbystomaEcology”.

For more information, email Dr. Michael Dreslik (dreslik@illinois.edu) and/or Dr. John Crawford (joacrawford@lc.edu).

https://blogs.illinois.edu/view/7426/699126

Midwest Fish and Wildlife Meeting

UBAP herpetologist Sarah Baker co-organized a symposium “Advances and Challenges in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Management” and presented “Impact of Snake Fungal Disease on Population Viability” at the 78th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Milwaukee, WI. Jan 28-31.

Student Kelsey Low presented a poster on “Ranavirus Effects on Body Condition and Growth of Developing Amphibians in Created Wetlands”

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.