Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Ideas Are Better Than Others

Some ideas are better than others, and establishing a method that allows citizens to report information on the presence of amphibians and reptiles on-line is an excellent one. These types of websites have an obvious value for conservation efforts, but they also increase awarness, educate the public and stimulate interest. The Carolina Herp Atlas (CHA) project developed by the Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory and Davidson College Information Technology Services is aimed at providing detailed data on the distribution of reptiles and amphibians of North and South Carolina. The resulting database can be used by registered users to record personal observations and herp enthusiasts, ametur naturalists, and scientists to study county level distribution maps, photographs, and data on activity periods, habitat relationships, current distributions and other aspects of amphibian and reptile ecology in North and South Carolina. In the 29 month period between 1 March 2007 to 22 September 2009, almost 700 users were registered and received the database received 15,626 amphibian and reptile occurrence records.Distribution data for 32 frog, 51 salamander, 38 snake, 12 lizard, 16 turtle species, and the American Alligator were collected, with  snakes (5,349 records) being the most frequently reported. For conservationsits and scientists obating this data by themselves would be time consuming and expensive. If you have not yet visted this website, take a few minutes to explore it. An on-line article about the site by Price and Dorcas discusses the development and advantages of the database.

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