Coming back home

"We" are Jon and Matt, who met at St. Frederick's and grew up close friends, Jon going to St. Helens High and Matt going to Scappoose High. Inspired by Jon's dad's work at the Oregon Zoo, as kids we had various adventures in the little tracks of forest in Warren and beyond, finding garter snakes and newts and whatever else would show up.

Both of us eventually left the region for college, Jon becoming a science teacher and Matt becoming a wildlife surveyor. But over the last year Matt moved back to the county and Jon has spent increasingly more time there. We've realized that Columbia County has a fascinatingly diverse set of reptiles and amphibians, and also a very poorly documented one, with little herpetological work ever having been done in the county.

("Herpetological" means "pertaining to the study of reptiles and amphibians", just in case anyone didn't know.)

That has inspired us to do a study of the reptiles and amphibians of the area. We'll be combining hundreds of our observations with surveys of other people we know as well as museum records. But we thought that in order to get a complete report, it would be best to crowd-source information too!

That's where you come in. Every bit of additional information we get regarding where in the county salamanders, frogs, turtles, snakes, and lizards can be found will be helpful to the project.

For the final product, we hope to publish a description of the reptile and amphibian species that occur in the county. We currently estimate there are between 27 and 30 of them! Each species report will describe how relatively easy the species is to find in the county, what habitats it is found in, and what regions of the county it is found it. We will not be publishing exact locations, but have divided the county up into 100 regions so it helps us to have accurate information so we can show generally where each species occurs.

Thank you for your participation!

Jon and Matt

Posted by jonhakim jonhakim, January 26, 2019 03:55

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