Since its inception in 2007, ARC has been actively serving those who work for the conservation of reptiles and amphibians. With actions that range from meeting sponsorships to grant management, from publication production to training workshops and on-the-ground habitat restoration, many of ARC’s accomplishments are evidenced in the increasing interest in and support for herpetofauna-related conservation and research worldwide.
In cooperation with Conservation International (CI), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), ARC administers the Amphibian Conservation Seed Grant Program. The International portion of the grant is supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). IUCN’s Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) provides seed grants to amphibian researchers and conservationists across the globe. The US portion, funded by USGS, supports local research efforts in the US. A 2008 -2009 program funded 4 US and 10 International projects. ARC is currently administering the 2011 program consisting of 4 US and 6 International projects.
To date, ARC has handled funds and provided accounting services to four of the five regions of PARC. As of 2011, ARC has also provided and managed funds, related to PARC’s two new conservation awards: the Alison Haskell Award for Excellence in Herpetofaunal Conservation, and the PARC Visionary Leader Award, both of which confer a small monetary prize.
ARC has coordinated the development of, and assisted with managing the funds toward the publication of, the PARC regional Habitat Management Guide series. These peer-reviewed Guides are designed to assist landowners and land managers large and small in making improvements to their lands that will benefit amphibians and reptiles. Guides for the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Midwest have been published. The Southwest guide is in the final stages of development and will be published in 2012.
Working with funds from the US Forest Service, augmented by a DoD Legacy Grant, ARC is supporting the development and publication of PARC’s Inventory and Monitoring Guide. This 350-page book, slated for publication in 2012, will provide the peer-recommended survey techniques for the assessment of essentially all amphibian and reptile species, in all age classes, within the US and parts of Canada.
In partnership with the Northwest Region of PARC, ARC provided financial support for the publication of the long-awaited comprehensive book: The Western Pond Turtle.
ARC provided funding toward the layout and printing of PARC’s 2010 Annual Report, and will continue to provide funding for future PARC annual reports.
Working cooperatively with the US Forest Service, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Bureau of Land Management, and the Northwest Region of PARC, ARC coordinated and participated in the construction of three ephemeral wetlands designed to favor native amphibians and reptiles, while discouraging invasive species. This habitat development project served as a hands-on demonstration for PARC’s pilot wetland restoration workshop (described below).
In 2013, in partnership with The Unversaw and Cracchiolo Farm, The Center for Wetlands and Stream Restoration, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Association of State Wetland Managers, and the Sheltowee Environmental Education Coalition, ARC restored four ephemeral wetlands in southern Ohio. Direct, immediate benefits: critical breeding habitat was restored for four rare amphibian species. Exponential benefits: 43 trainees from at least five states learned how to restore even more wetlands for similar species in similar habitats.
As part of a growing partnership between the Department of Defense (DoD) and PARC, ARC has managed various grants that support herpetofaunal conservation on military lands. In particular, ARC has managed the following for DoD PARC:
In 2010, working with members of PARC, ARC assisted in the management of funds granted by the Southern Region of the United States Forest Service (USFS), toward a peer-exchange workshop (see below) on road ecology for small vertebrates and for the development of additional resources for transportation planning and road ecology to benefit herpetofauna and other small vertebrates.
In support of the peer-exchange workshop co-funded by the USFS Southern Region (see above), ARC provided additional sponsorship for members of PARC to implement this project. The workshop, “Guiding the Way: Using Amphibians and Reptiles as Models to Enhance Ecosystem Connectivity and Transportation Planning for Small Vertebrates” brought together road ecology experts from the US and Canada at the 2010 Joint Meetings of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Providence, Rhode Island.
In 2010, ARC contributed to the sponsorship of the International Symposium on Ranaviruses, held at the 2011 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Minneapolis, MN.
Working with Southwest PARC, ARC helped facilitate the financial management of a 2011 Flat Tailed Horned Lizard Biomonitoring and Training Workshop.
In cooperation with the US Forest Service, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Bureau of Land Management, and the Northwest Region of PARC, ARC initiated and assisted in the planning and implementation of a 2010 ephemeral wetlands restoration training workshop in the Trinity River Basin of Northern California. The workshop, which joins the suite of trainings offered by PARC, hosted 30 participants and emphasized the importance of planning design features to meet specific amphibian and reptile conservation objectives.
In 2010, ARC contributed to the sponsorship of the International Symposium on Ranaviruses, held at the 2011 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Minneapolis, MN. ARC again helped sponsor the second International Symposium on Ranaviruses held in Knoxville, TN. Both of these important events were hugely successful.
In 2013, ARC helped sponsor Southeast PARC’s first regional-scale workshop on Enforcing Regulations for Herpetofauna held as part of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA), annual meeting. The workshop was taught by award-winning officers from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and included background, regulations specific to each state, safety, and tips on navigating the court systems.
ARC provided a stipend to fund an intern position established to organize and promote the 2011 Year of the Turtle campaign; the intent of which is to raise public awareness of the plight of turtles worldwide.
ARC provided financial and technical support for both the redesign of the PARC website (www.parcplace.org) and the creation of the ARC website.
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