This spring I was asked to write an article about my efforts in mapping amphibians and reptiles across South Dakota. Since 2012, I have collected voucher specimens and photographs of amphibians and reptiles that I encountered at research study sites, during camping trips, driving down county roads, and pretty much every other time I was outdoors when it wasn’t winter. These records represent a significant increase (>60%) in the number of verifiable records from the state and provide much needed voucher material for current and future studies. While I continue to collect voucher specimens from the state, citizen scientists are also contributing to what is known about distributions of species in the state. In 2017, I launched a new website, Amphibians and Reptiles of South Dakota (http://www.sdherps.org), and have encouraged citizen scientists to submit their own observations of amphibians and reptiles they encounter while outdoors. In 2017, over 900 records were added to http://www.sdherps.org, all of which help to better map species distributions in the state. Hopefully even more records are submitted to the website in 2018.
Davis DR. 2018. Mapping amphibians and reptiles in South Dakota. South Dakota Conservation Digest 85:34–37. [PDF]