I was recently awarded a Wildlife Diversity Small Grant from South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks to promote and develop additional resources for the newly launched website www.sdherps.org. These funds were awarded to me and partners at HerpMapper, Inc. to promote the use of this website, increase public awareness of this resource, and encourage user-submitted observations of amphibians and reptiles from across the state. An additional goal will be to travel to the University of Nebraska State Museum (UNSM) in Lincoln, NE to examine and verify species identifications of voucher specimens that were formerly part of the University of South Dakota Herpetological Collection. The collection at UNSM represents the largest collection of amphibians and reptiles from South Dakota and represents a large portion of the data used to map species distributions (see www.sdherps.org/about). I am particularly interested in examining similar species pairs (i.e., Plains Leopard Frog vs. Northern Leopard Frog, Plains Gartersnake vs. Common Gartersnake) and rare species (i.e., Common Watersnake, Dekay’s Brownsnake).
Grant Title: Creating online resources to engage South Dakota citizens in amphibians and reptile identification and conservation