Speakers: Past and Present
-Prey Selection in Western Copperheads (Agkistrodon laticinctus)
This presentation is an overview of research being conducted on the diet of copperheads (Broad-banded and Trans-Pecos populations) based on field observations, and work in museum collections and in captivity. The two formerly recognized subspecies (now recognized as A. laticinctus) have had little attention in this regard in the past. Results reveal a varied diet that may follow seasonal trends. Additionally this highly evolved ambush predator exhibits foraging behaviors that allow it to capitalize on seasonally available insect and amphibian prey. This study (conducted in collaboration with Harry Greene) has recorded several novel species included in the diet, and is relevent in captive management of wild specimens (consistent feeding) and for eliciting feeding in neonates and juveniles which may refuse typically available rodent prey.
Presented by Gerry Salmon, Member of SSAR, Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (current VP), South Texas Amphibian and Reptile Society, Austin Herpetological Society, Chicago Herpetological Society and East Texas Herpetological Society. He has been an avid naturalist with a strong interest in Herpetology and geographic distribution of North American reptiles. He has been doing natural history research for more than 30 years in museum collections, in captive collections, and in the field. He is a retired New York State Police Sergeant, a former state park naturalist for New York and South Carolina, and has worked as an endangered species monitor on pipeline and wind farm construction projects. He resides in Boerne, Texas.
2017-03-29Dr. Eric T. Hileman
-Demography and Life History of an Imperiled North American Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus)
The Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a small, cryptic North American rattlesnake with a distribution centered on the Great Lakes. Ongoing population declines due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and harvest led to the species being listed as threatened and endangered in Canada and threatened in the United States under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2016. Population estimates are essential for identifying population trends, assessing extinction risk, and elucidating the effects of land management practices on population persistence. However, conservation of Eastern Massasauga populations has been hampered by data gaps related to how the species varies in life history and demography across the range. For example, key demographic estimates are lacking for populations near the range center of the species where the largest number of Eastern Massasauga populations may still persist. Consequently, realistic extinction risk models and management guidelines related to the timing of habitat management activities have been difficult to develop. In this talk, Dr. Hileman will discuss research he and fellow collaborators are doing that will inform conservation efforts for this imperiled snake.
Eric T. Hileman is a postdoctoral fellow in the biology department at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively. He is interested in traditional and spatially explicit capture-recapture models, population ecology, life-history evolution, and conservation biology. Eric is the former Director of Conservation, Education, and Animal Welfare at the Racine Zoo in Racine, Wisconsin. He has taught field-based tropical herpetology courses in Costa Rica for the last decade.
-Passionate Journey With Short-tailed Pythons
Keeping short-tailed pythons since 1997 with focus on Borneo (Python breitensteini) and Blood pythons (Python brongersmai). This talk is a discussion on the captive husbandry of these species, their breeding, and their origination in captivity. Along with that the experiences I have had for working with short-tailed pythons for two decades!
Member of the CHS since 1997 celebrating my 20th year this month. Past President 2006 and current President also chaired the CHS Adoptions Program from 1998 to 2000. Employed by Argonne National Laboratory as the Budget Officer, past President of Lewis University Alumni Association and published fantasy novelist.
2017-01-25Alicia Beattie & Jared Bilak
Alicia Beattie completed her M.S. in Zoology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. The Daniel P. Haerther Conservation and Research Department at the Shedd Aquarium provided funding and support for her project studying diets, population structure, and seasonal activity patterns of mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus), aquatic salamanders of concern throughout the Great Lakes region. Ms. Beattie holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota, Morris. She is currently the Project Manager at Chagrin River Watershed Partners (Inc.) in Ohio. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Jared Bilak, a PhD student at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is continuing the mudpuppy research project. Mr. Bilak completed his M.S. in Environmental Biology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. His Master's research assessed the prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Ranavirus among eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) populations in Western Pennsylvania.
The speakers will discuss the findings and conservation implications of their research, as well as future directions and the next phase of their research on mudpuppies at Wolf Lake, a shared lake in the highly developed region of Chicago, Illinois and Hammond, Indiana. They will also discuss the big picture implications of their project, and explain how research like theirs helps conservation of mudpuppies and other species in the Chicago area. The work of Ms. Beattie and her co-authors, Dr. Philip Willink and Dr. Matt Whiles, will be published in the February issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research.
-Pot Luck Holiday Party
Everyone is welcome to this year end celebration, we will have a pot luck party. Please come with food or drink to share if you can and bring someone new along to introduce them to your society. We will also be ordering pizzas! While there is no scheduled speaker we will have short business section for some quick announcements and our elections! Feel free to bring animals but please be sure to pack them securely and in temperature controlled shipping style boxes.
2016-11-30Martha L. Crump
-What Amphibians and Reptiles Mean to Us: Lore, Mythology, and Conservation
Throughout time and worldwide, humans have loved and hated amphibians and reptiles. We admire some for their association with fertility and rebirth, but we despise others out of fear or lack of understanding. We worship some as gods and goddesses, and believe that others are the Devil himself. We perceive these animals as powerful, able to cause natural disasters and to kill, but also useful in boosting our own health and wellbeing. Folklore reveals much about our perceptions-positive, negative, and indifferent. In the end, our perceptions of the animals can influence conservation priorities. Conservation biologists cannot address all of the world's declining species because we lack the financial resources, personnel, and time. We must make priority decisions about what species get saved. How will we make these choices? Public support plays a major role in species preservation. For this reason, we need to understand (and in many cases change) how the public both thinks and feels about the species in need of protection. I suggest we incorporate local folklore and mythology into our conservation efforts.
Marty was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She grew up in upstate New York and in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, where she raised tadpoles and kept frogs and salamanders as pets. She received her PhD at the University of Kansas in 1974, and was Professor in the Zoology Department at the University of Florida from 1976-1992. In 1992, she moved to Flagstaff, AZ, where she is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. In 2011 she accepted an Adjunct Professor position in the Department of Biological Sciences at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where she is located now. As a tropical ecologist, Marty studies behavior, ecology, and conservation of amphibians. Much of her research has involved frog reproduction and parental care, as well as declining amphibian populations. She has worked mainly in Latin America-specially Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Marty is currently studying Darwin's frogs in Chile. Marty has published 65 scientific papers, book reviews, and book chapters. In 1997 Marty received the Distinguished Herpetologist Award from The Herpetologists' League. Marty is one of six co-authors of the textbook Herpetology (Pough et al.; 4th edition 2015). Marty shares her passion for biology by writing for a general audience and for children. She has written articles for Natural History magazine and for Highlights and Ranger Rick. She has published the following books for a general audience: (1) In Search of the Golden Frog, (2) Headless Males Make Great Lovers and Other Unusual Natural Histories, (3) Extinction in Our Times: Global Amphibian Decline (co-author with James Collins), (4) Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers and Other Unusual Relationships, and (5) Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog, Adder's Fork and Lizard's Leg. She has published the following books for children/young adults: (1) Amphibians, Reptiles, and Their Conservation, (2) Mysteries of the Komodo Dragon: The Biggest, Deadliest Lizard Gives Up Its Secrets, (3) Amphibians and Reptiles: An Introduction to Their Natural History and Conservation, and (4) The Mystery of Darwin's Frog.
-Reptiles in Captivity, Trends, and Species Diversity.
Reptiles have been kept in captivity for over 100 years. In the last few decades they have exploded in popularity and there have been trends to the types of animals kept and why. Within the popularity of a new species, often other species disappear from the hobby. This presentation covers the history of reptile keeping, what trends have come and gone, and what we can do to ensure diversity within captivity of species for the long term.
Ryan founded the Madison Area Herpetological Society in 2010. He wanted to share his love of reptiles with all around him and help educate people on their proper care. Before then, Ryan had done school shows and worked in a pet store educating young kids about the wonders of the reptile world and how to keep them properly. His love of reptiles started when he was only 4 years old as he was always chasing and catching frogs, salamanders, and garter snakes. Ryan has been keeping reptiles since he was 7 years old and has been actively breeding them in captivity for the past 8 years. Ryan graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and worked until 2015 as a Project Engineer. Starting in 2015, Ryan became the Brand Manager for the Zilla line of reptile products. As time goes on his love for these animals, developing products to better suit the keepers and their pets, and spreading education continues to grow.
- Ecology of Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes on a Barrier Island
Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes are a poorly studied species with a fascinating natural history. Radio-telemetry, visual encounter surveys, and trapping were used to study the ecology of this species living on a barrier island off the coast of New York. Snakes on the island were found to be lacking color polymorphisms, feed exclusively on Fowler's Toads, and to occur in extremely dense populations. The snakes also nested and denned communally, and used smaller home ranges than those in other populations.
John is a current PhD student at Northern Illinois University, where he studies wildlife ecology and conservation. John earned an MS in Biology from Hofstra University in NY, where he studied the ecology of Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes on a barrier island. He also has a BS in Wildlife Science from The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (which has the longest name of any university in the United States). Throughout his career, John has had the good fortune to work with Eastern Hellbenders, Timber Rattlesnakes, Black Bears, Red Wolves, Gopher Tortoises, Peregrine Falcons, and a suite of other species. His current research at NIU focuses on the distribution of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals in Lake County, IL.
-America`s Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake
Of all the rattlesnakes in the Western Hemisphere, the timber rattlesnake has evoked the widest, most controversial constituency. The first venomous snake encountered by European colonists, it was the first New World snake classified by Linnaeus, who gave it the Latinized name Crotalus horridus, which translates to scaly beast with musical rattle. Levin's book captures the snake's natural history and unique behaviors, and looks at the people who love them, loathe them, and have abused them through illegal trade.
A former Bronx Zoo zoologist, Levin is the author of Blood Brook: A Naturalists Home Ground, Backtracking: The Way of the Naturalist, and Liquid Land: A Journey through the Everglades, which won the Burroughs Medal in 2004. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Audubon, National Wildlife, National Geographic Traveler, and other publications. Ted lives in Thetford, Vermont, where he has served on the conservation commission and both as justice of the peace and director of youth baseball. For many years he has led tours to the rattlesnake-rich landscapes of the Southwest and Southeast. In the summer of 2008, Ted organized and led a team of eleven- and twelve-year-old Little League all-stars on a goodwill baseball tour of Havana, Cuba, the first trip in more than fifty years to be sanction by both the United States and the Cuban government's.
2016-07-27Dr. Doug Mader
-Iguanas in the Florida Keys
The Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) has been one of the most popular reptile pets ever in the United States - except for the Florida Keys. Green Iguanas are common in the tropical island chain and are considered pests by locals. So much so that the County commission has placed a bounty on the reptiles and have an "open season" for their demise. It is legal to shoot and kill iguanas providing that they are killed with a single shot. This talk will discuss the ecological impact of the popular pet, the origin of the problem and possible solutions.
Dr. Mader, a graduate from the University of California, Davis in 1986, is the co-owner the Marathon Veterinary Hospital, a referral hospital in the Conch Republic. Dr. Mader is the consulting veterinarian for the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, the Monroe County Sheriff's Zoo, the Key West Aquarium and the Theater of the Sea. Dr. Mader is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and is on the review boards of several scientific journals. He has published numerous articles in scientific and veterinary journals, national magazines, and three textbooks, including the Elsevier publication, Reptile Medicine and Surgery. The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Achievement Award and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Wildlife Conservation Award are amongst Dr. Mader's many recognitions.
-Show and Tell
June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.
-Project Pondo: A Chameleon Conservation Effort
Chip will be giving a talk on Project Pondo: a chameleon conservation effort by Herpetological Conservation International (HCI). HCI is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 dedicated to conserving imperiled reptile and amphibian species. The first conservation project HCI has undertaken is the creation of a reserve for the endangered Pondo Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion caffer). Time permitting, Chip will also provide an update on his PhD project, a study investigating geographic venom variation in the Southwestern Speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus pyrrhus), a project CHS helped fund.
Chip Cochran is a PhD candidate in Dr. William K. Hayes lab at Loma Linda University where he is studying morphological, dietary, and venom composition differences among populations of southwestern speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus pyrrhus). He received his BS from The University of Arizona in 2006 where he majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During his time at the University of Arizona he worked in Matt Goode's lab primarily radio tracking Tiger rattlesnakes (C. tigris) for a project investigating the effects of golf courses on Tucson herpetofauna. His research interests include: venomous animals and their venoms, evolution, conservation, and ecology.
2016-04-27George L. Heinrich
-Turtle Science: Why Turtles Are Cool
This presentation will introduce the fascinating world of turtles and turtle science. Did you know that the sex of some species is determined at a pivotal point during egg incubation, or that turtles are the most endangered group of animals on earth? How about the fact that turtles can talk and are actually more social than we realized? Come learn about their diversity, conservation, and the latest research findings. George will also provide an overview of the fieldwork that he and his colleagues are doing with the Suwannee cooter (Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis), diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), and gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in Florida.
George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services (www.heinrichecologicalservices.com), is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours. A graduate of Memphis State University, his interests include southeastern upland, riverine, and brackish wetland ecosystems, conservation challenges facing Florida's non-marine turtles, and the role of education in conserving herpetofauna. George is an invited member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council, and is a co-founder of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust.
-Saving herps - one at a time: working as a Timber Rattlesnake monitor on pipelines and wind farms in the northeast.
His presentation will include highlights of his work with Northeastern timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and conservation efforts that became the basis for a recent seasonal employment protecting threatened wildlife in areas of heavy construction.
Gerry Salmon has been an avid naturalist for most of his life (he is 55 years old). He has a strong interest in Herpetology and geographic distribution of North American reptiles and amphibians. He is also a long-term contributor to Northeastern timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) field biology and conservation efforts. Gerry has presented several times in the past at our monthly meetings on anaconda natural history, timber rattlesnakes, mexicana kingsnakes, and herping in South Carolina, and in west Texas.
-Pursuit of Royalty: Searching for Queensnakes in Wisconsin.
Sam's presentation will be on glacial relic snake species in Wisconsin. Specifically, he will discuss finding queensnakes and northern ribbonsnakes in Wisconsin at the northernmost edge of their range, and his continuing search for other glacial relics in Wisconsin.
Sam Fellows graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a Bachelor's of Science in Biological Sciences in 2012. His undergraduate work under Dr. Gerlinde Hobel focused on sexual selection in Eastern Gray Treefrogs and African Dwarf Frogs. Since graduating, he has worked as a Herpetology and Fisheries technician for the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish, volunteered time assisting contract biologists with the Wisconsin DNR with eastern massasauga surveys, and has worked as a Wildlife Technician for the Milwaukee County Parks Department. Most recently, he's been accepted into San Diego State University's Evolutionary Biology Master's program, where he'll be studying the evolutionary relationships within the genus Crotalus (rattlesnakes).
2016-01-27Dr. Matt O Connor
-The Great Philippine Turtle Rescue
On June 23rd, 2015, 4,000 turtles destined for the markets of China were confiscated from a warehouse on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. 3,800 of these turtles were the critically endangered Philippine forest turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis), a species thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered back in 2001. An international effort quickly materialized involving many organizations that brought turtle experts and medical supplies from around the world within a matter of days to respond to the crisis. Dr. Matt O'Connor, staff veterinarian at the Shedd Aquarium, was one of those able to lend his expertise and assist with the treatment and release of these rare Philippine forest turtles back into the wild. He will share the story of the turtles and results of the international efforts.
Dr. Matt O'Connor oversees the care of 32,000 animals at the aquarium, from mammals to fishes. In addition to his animal care responsibilities, Dr. O'Connor is a leader in veterinary education, overseeing the aquarium's teaching partnership with the Illinois Zoo and Aquatic Animal Residency program among Brookfield Zoo, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and Shedd. The Chicago-area native has also contributed to a wide spectrum of research and field work. Just before joining Shedd, he was called upon for his expertise on a critically endangered turtle species, hundreds of which were found on the island of Palawan in the Philippines in deplorable conditions by smugglers. His knowledge led to a successful recovery and release effort. Dr. O'Connor has four years of experience in private practice treating exotic animals, and hespent three years overseeing the care of the 700 species at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as a resident veterinarian. He holds a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of California, Davis. He earned his pre-veterinary and veterinary medicine doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
-Poisonous snakes. How many are there? How do they work? What is the most poisonous?
Think you know all about poisonous snakes? No, you don't. Come hear Gavin speak and learn stuff that will wow your friends and make you a hit at parties. Well, maybe not, but you will be able to shut down that pompous jerk that proclaims, "There's no such thing as a poisonous snake."
Gavin is a long time CHS member, who really likes Latin America and poisonous snakes. He has a neat hammock in his snake room.
2015-10-28Dr. Matt Allender
-Diseases of Wild Box Turtles
"The Illinois landscape has undergone unprecedented change in the last 100 years, and many environments no longer resemble the ecosystems that species evolved in. Declines of several state species have been associated with these landscape changes, however the associated changes in pathogen presence and subsequent ability of habitats to support healthy populations remains largely unknown. Deteriorating wildlife health threatens the sustainability and successfulness of conservation efforts as has been observed in Illinois with White Nose Syndrome, Ranavirus, and Snake Fungal Disease. Monitoring the health of sentinel species allows early detection of ecosystem change and directly benefits species health and recovery efforts. Eastern Box turtles are distributed across the eastern US in a variety of habitats, have long lifespans, small home ranges, and are slow to reach reproductive maturity, all which may potentiate their susceptibility to environmental stress and make them excellent indicator species for environmental change. Moreover, habitat fragmentation, infectious diseases, and toxicological exposure are of increasing concern in box turtles. Over the past four years, we have been monitoring hematologic, plasma biochemical, contaminant exposure, and pathogen prevalence in Eastern Box Turtles in Illinois. The presentation will discuss the conservation of eastern box turtles by describing their capture (using dogs), examinations, and other health factors that may enhance or threaten populations."
Matt Allender, DVM, MS, PhD; Diplomate ACZM; Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian; Assistant Professor Departments of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Research Affiliate, Prairie Research Institute
-Us vs. T.H.E.M. (The Anti-pet Agenda)
The reptile and other pet communities are under constant attack from anti-pet groups. This talk covers the history of the largest anti-pet organizations, animal rights vs. animal welfare, fraudulent fundraising, lobbying efforts and many other aspects of the animal rights (AR) movement. The majority of Americans are still unaware of the true agenda behind these groups and it is crucial to learn what's happening so you can educate others. It is vital to know what groups are working to end your freedom to have pets. Do your part to fight them and spread the truth.
Phil is a longtime herper, having been active in the hobby and industry for over 15 years. Phil currently owns Goss Reptiles (www.GossReptiles.com) and has worked in all aspects of the industry including pet shops, large scale breeder, pet distributors and industry manufacturers. He is president of USARK.
-Show and Tell
June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.
2015-05-27Justin Michels and Don Becker
-Documenting your finds by herpmapping
Both Justin Michels and Don Becker move through the computer world as easily as they move through the natural world, certainly a rare combination. They are frequent contributors to Field Herp Forum being knowledgable herpers and excellent photographers. They will talk about participating in citizen science with a new app they've developed called Herpmapper which is also an excellent way to keep a life list.
-Recent revisions to Illinois Herp Laws
The April meeting of the Chicago Herpetological Society will feature Scott Ballard of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Ballard is the author of the Illinois Herptiles-Herps Act that went into effect the beginning of this year. Everyone in Illinois who owns a reptile or amphibian or enjoys field herping needs to review this new law, but it’s particularly important for breeders, native animal keepers, and keepers of large or venomous animals. Talk with the man who wrote the law.
-Raising Ethical Standards in Herpetoculture
Danny Mendez is a professional zoologist and radio host/producer of one of the longest running, and most downloaded zoological based radio programs on the internet, UrbanJunglesRadio. With over 15 years experience as a zookeeper, biologist and later the director of the living collection for Liberty Science Center in NJ, Danny has had extensive experience with a diverse group of animals both in captivity and in the wild and is a past president of the NJ Herp Society. He is currently works in wildlife rehabilitation with Black Bears at a state licensed facility and keeps a large collection of reptiles at home which consist mostly of neotropical tree boas from the genus Corallus and various rare geckos such as Uroplatus from Madagascar. He was the first person to refine the simple genetic trait which causes striping in Amazon Tree boas, giving rise to the Tiger line of Amazon Tree boas.
-How to make a pair of snake skin boots without killing a snake
Dan will describe the current trade in wild snake hides, its effect on the ecosystem, its cruelty, and the 1 billion dollar industry which drives it. Additionally, he will present a snake skin alternative which has the power to stop the international trade in skin while at the same time saving or improving human lives, and supporting conservation and education.
Dan Krull is co-founder of Eden Bio-Creations, and is a conservationist, animal husbandry expert, public speaker, and environmental consultant who has been working with captive animals for 20 years. He is a huge fan of the Chicago Herp Society, and is honored to have been invited back again to present to such an active and engaged society.
-Handling Reptile Emergencies
If you keep animals you won't want to miss Erica's talk. What do you do for your favorite herp when that medical emergency explodes in your face? Erica will cover the common and uncommon situations and what to do before you get to the vet.
Erica Mede is a certified veterinary technician working on obtaining board certification in exotics. She currently works at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. She is the veterinary technician liaison for the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and has given talks to that organization as well as other national and local institutions.
2014-11-26Dr. Stephen Barten
-The Wildlife of the Pantanal, Brazil
The Pantanal of central-western Brazil is the world's largest wetland ecosystem, covering an area 15 times the size of the Everglades (it's also bigger than 29 of the states in the U.S.). It has the densest population of crocodilians--Yacare Caimans--found anywhere in the world, and is a great place to find yellow anacondas. It also is one of the best places in the world to see wild jaguars, giant river otters, giant anteaters, tapirs, howler and capuchin monkeys, coatis, and capybaras, as well as the critically endangered hyacinth macaw and over 650 other species of birds. Steve Barten toured the Pantanal by bus, truck, boat, and foot, which allowed him close approach and photography of the wildlife. The highlight was witnessing a jaguar catch a 6-foot caiman.
- Behavior of American alligators and crocodiles in captive & wild situations
American alligators and American crocodiles are large predatory reptiles known for their impressively powerful jaws, teeth, and a less than friendly disposition. These animals are often regarded as rather simplistic killing/eating machines and are not widely recognized for possessing a high level of intelligence or being behaviorally complex. In my eleven years of experience working hands-on with these animals I have found them to be intelligent creatures who learn quickly and often defy our preexisting notions on their behavior, and I am constantly surprised the more I work with them. Join me as I discuss observations and experiences ranging from captive training and handling to working passively with wild crocodilians in their natural habitats, encompassing everything from hatchlings to 15ft+ beasts.
Chris Gillette has dedicated his life to working with reptiles and amphibians, ranging from academic publications discovering new invasive species in south Florida to appearing on numerous popular wildlife tv shows, primarily GatorBoys. His love of wildlife is expressed through award winning photography from the amazon rainforest, Costa Rica, across the US, and Mexico
-Philippine Crocodile Conservation
The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a Critically Endangered freshwater crocodile endemic to the Philippine archipelago. It is estimated that less than 250 non-hatchling Philippine crocodiles survive in the wild, making it the most severely endangered crocodile species on the planet (van Weerd 2010). The remnant Philippine crocodile populations are severely threatened by hunting,the use of destructive fishing methods, and the degradation and conversion of freshwater wetland habitat. In mainstream Filipino culture crocodiles are seen as vermin and considered to be a threat to children and livestock (van derPloeg et. al 2011a). Crocodiles are stereotyped as ferocious man-eaters, and associated with greed and deceit. Corrupt government officials, selfish athletes, landlords and moneylenders are often called buwaya, Filipino for crocodile. These negative attitudes towards crocodiles form a major obstacle toin-situ conservation. This talk will highlight the creative conservation initiatives underway in the municipality of San Mariano in northern Luzon - one of the two last strongholds of Philippine crocodiles in the wild. Thanks to the generous support of many conservation-based organizations,including the Chicago Herp Society, the Mabuwaya Foundation has been successful in engaging community support, creating the first Philippine crocodile reserve, and significantly increasing the number of crocodiles in the area.
Colette Adams is currently the General Curator and Grants Coordinator at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. She had a passion for reptiles long before the 1976 commencement of her zoo career, when she began working in the Reptile Department as a keeper. Though her titles have changed and administrative duties have increased over the years, she remains the primary caretaker of several groups of crocodiles at her zoo. Colette is a member of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group and the Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Team. She is also an avid fundraiser for various species of endangered crocodiles.
-Recollections of Armenia and the Armenian Viper
Andy is currently the new Curator of Herpetology and Aquatics at the Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo. He came to Chicagoland from Fresno California, where last he was Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. This is Andy's fifth zoo position, and he's been in the zoo field for over 28 years. He is currently the Population Manager and SSP Coordinator for the Jamaican Boa, Epicrates subflavus, and has a passion for the unusual and rarely seen herps and aquatics. He was the impetus behind the National Amphibian Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo when he was the Curator of Herpetology there, and is also a personal member of the TSA, Turtle Survival Alliance.
-Title: Untangling a phylogenetic knot of venomous snakes: Evolutionary discoveries of highland pitvipers from Middle America
New World pitvipers, such as the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), were incorporated into the first formal species descriptions by Linneaus (1758). This trend continued in the 18th and 19th centuries through the works of Laurenti (1768), Dumeril and Bibron (1835), Schlegel (1841), Günther (1863), and many others. Surprisingly, after more than 250 years of investigation there is still much to be discovered about New World pitvipers systematics. Central and South American pitvipers are a point of continued systematic confusion as cryptic lineages, in combination with inadequate sampling, obscure the complete diversity and evolutionary relationships of this group. This incomplete understanding results in an impediment for medical treatment of snakebite victims. From fieldwork in the tropics to morphology in the lab, this talk will shed light on how new species are found and described as well as how these advances are permitting us to make broader understandings about biogeographic patterns and treatments in modern medicine. Systematic studies like this are becoming increasingly important in our current age of rapid biodiversity loss.
Robert Jadin is currently a biology instructor at Northeastern Illinois University. Robert is a herpetological systematist whose graduate work focused on studying the diversity and evolutionary relationships of New World pitvipers incorporating both morphological and molecular phylogenetics. However Robert's research expands beyond reptiles and includes other projects ranging from speciation mechanisms of trematode parasites to descriptive morphology of lizard and snake hemipenes. Robert's fieldwork includes months in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. In addition, Robert enjoys road cruising on rainy nights, long walks in cloud forest habitats, flipping rocks and logs with herps underneath, writing natural history notes, and inferring phylogenies.
-Show and Tell
June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you'd like to say about a special herp. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed. Please use secure, escape proof transport boxes that offer some temperature buffer for your animal.
2014-05-28Kristen Wiley and Jim Harrison
- Venomous Vacation: KRZ visits Sri Lanka
The small country of Sri Lanka has the highest death rate from snakebite per capita in the world. This presentation will describe Jim and Kristen's trip to Sri Lanka, where they worked with the Sri Lankan AVRI team to set up a venom production serpentarium and produce the very first venom to be used in antivenom production for the country. Amazing herps were seen and worked with, great friends were made, and big strides were taken towards helping the wonderful people of this small country deal with the big problem of snakebite.
Kristen Wiley has been at Kentucky Reptile Zoo since 1998. She is responsible for the daily husbandry of a wide variety of venomous snakes, as well as permitting, licensing, and antivenom importation for the zoo. Kristen has a master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where she studied the microhabitat use of timber rattlesnakes. Outside of the zoo, Kristen is an avid equestrian, and participates in the sport of eventing.
Jim Harrison founded Kentucky Reptile Zoo in 1990 after an injury forced his retirement form the police force. Jim's goal was to provide venom in a manner that is humane to the animals and sustainable to the environment. To that end, KRZ houses primarily captive-born snakes. Jim is the sole venom extractor at the zoo and on some occasions extracts from over 100 snakes in one day. Venom from KRZ goes to researchers and pharmaceutical companies all over the world. When not working, Jim enjoys martial arts and old horror movies
2014-04-30Andrew and Sarah Gilpin
-Seeing the details in life
Join us for a glimpse into some of our recent travels consisting of photos from trips to Australia, Ecuador, and South Africa!
We are a young couple who share a passion for the outdoors and photography. Our passion for photography and spending time in the field has taken us around the world in pursuit of incredible reptiles, amphibians, insects, mammals, scenery and well, just about everything!
-Graptemys- Map Turtles of the Choctawatchee and Pea Rivers
Long time CHS member and herpetologist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Chris Lechowicz, will present a summary of his thesis work on Graptemys in the Choctawhatchee and Pea Rivers in southern Alabama and northern Florida. Chris received a grant from the CHS in 2007 for this project. This unique population of sympatric megacephalic map turtles (G. barbouri and G. ernsti) adds exceptions to several rules pertaining to population ecology of Gulf Coast Graptemys. Chris will also debut his first book "Amphibians and Reptiles of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida: A Natural History" and have copies available. http://www.graptemys.com/
-Title: Amazing amphibians of the Peruvian Amazon: diversity, research and outreach.
Talk Summary: The Madre de Dios region of Peru has amazing herpetological diversity that has fascinated scientists for decades. However, new discoveries continue to be made and future research is needed to understand these incredible species and their interactions with the rapidly changing environment. This talk will provide a glimpse of the overall diversity, in-depth look at some remarkable species, and highlight research and outreach activities.
Bio: Sarah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. She received her Bachelors from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder. Sarah began her research in Peru as an undergraduate and has returned several times to continue biodiversity monitoring and other research endeavors. The main focus of Sarah's research is the interaction of parasites with their amphibian hosts, but she also studies amphibian physiology, ecology, evolution, and conservation.
-Amphibians and Global Change: What do we Stand to Lose?
Talk summary: This talk will outline the current threats to amphibians in the face of global change and detail the importance of conserving amphibian taxa. Aside from inherent value, amphibians may provide key ecological roles to help maintain healthy ecosystems. Understanding the roles of amphibians could provide evidence to support conservation of amphibian taxa across the world.
Bio: Joe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Loyola University Chicago. He received his Bachelors from Adrian College, his Masters from Arkansas State University, and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. From 2010 to 2013 Joe was a post-doctoral fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati, and in August 2013 he joined the faculty at LUC. Joe teaches Ecology and his research examines the impact of global change on amphibians and the importance of herpetofauna to ecosystems.
-Pot Luck Holiday Party
Everyone is welcome to this year end celebration, we will have a pot luck party. Please come with food or drink to share if you can and bring someone new along to introduce them to your society. While there is no scheduled speaker we will have short business section for some quick announcements. Feel free to bring animals but please be sure to pack them securely and in temperature controlled shipping style boxes.
-\"Field Herping 2013: Grand Cayman, South Texas, Wisconsin Hoggies, and Snake Road\"
Steve Barten's presentation for the November election meeting will be a photographic travelogue of the herps and other wildlife he encountered this year. A veterinarian, Barten started his year by traveling to Grand Cayman in the Caribbean to teach a week-long course on herpetological medicine to the veterinary students at St. Matthews University. The trip allowed him to tour the Cayman blue iguana breeding facility, the Cayman Turtle Farm, and view most of the herps found on the island. In April Barten joined several CHS members for a herping trip to python breeder Dave Barker's property in South Texas. June brought a visit to the eastern hog nosed snake communal nesting sites in Wisconsin, and September meant another trip to Snake Road in southern Illinois with a group of CHS members. Barten is a renowned photographer whose talks showcase his beautiful images. He is a long time CHS member and past CHS president. His practice is the Vernon Hills Animal Hospital in Mundelein, IL, where he has special interest in herpetological medicine and surgery
Conservation of the Mona Coqui (Eleutherodactylus monensis) Jennifer L. Stabile Amphibian Conservation Coordinador Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, Albuquerque, New Mexico In the heart of the Caribbean lies Mona Island, 66 km (41 mi) west of Puerto Rico and 61 km (38 mi) east of the Dominican Republic. The Mona Passage, the waters surrounding the island, connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Caribbean Sea. Mona is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Caribbean, and being it is a natural reserve there is no large scale tourism, no hotels and no permanent residents. Eleutherodactylus monensis is endemic to Mona Island and of the 17 species of Puerto Rican frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus is the least studied. The Mona Island Coqui is a medium sized frog endemic to Mona Island, Puerto Rico. There is little known about its current population status, ecology and reproductive biology. Since 2004 the IUCN has listed it as a vulnerable species because of its restricted range and the effects of introduced predators on the island. In addition to its limited range other factors that may lead to population declines include chytridiomycosis (Bd) which is present on Mona, habitat alteration and climate change. An ex situ captive breeding program for Eleutherodactylus monensis was started in order to (1) establish a captive assurance population, (2) learn about its reproductive biology, and (3) provide education and outreach opportunities for this unique species.
Jen began her zoo career as a docent and intern in the Department of Herpetology at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens (CFZ&BG) in 2004. She obtained most of her venomous training during an internship at the Med Toxin Venom Laboratories and was hired on at the CFZ&BG as a Reptile and Amphibian Keeper in 2005, later being promoted to Amphibian Conservation Coordinator. During her first few years of employment she worked on her weekends as a research assistant with Ray Ashton at the Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute studying the ecology and conservation of Florida herptefauna, with emphasis on amphibians and tortoises. In 2011 Jen took a position with the ABQ BioPark Zoo as Senior Keeper of Herpetology/ Amphibian Conservation Coordinator. She also currently serves as a contract partner with The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to conduct proactive surveillance for emerginf amphibian pathogens in species of greatest conservation need. Early in her career, Jen began working with the common coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui), and thus began a long term partnership with Dr. Rafael Joglar, founder of Proyecto Coqui. She has over 8 years experience working both in-situ and ex-situ with the coqui frogs of Puerto Rico.
- Natural history of Australian pythons and implications for captive care.
Talk Summary: The pythons of Australia are a diverse group of ambush predators that are adapted to life in a variety of habitats. While the many species share several key features, various taxa are also specifically adapted to fill certain niches. Such behavior and adaptive traits in the wild are quite fascinating and recent studies have provided important insights into the natural history of these snakes. There are also implications on captive care that will help keepers improve conditions for their maintenance in an artificial environment.
Bio: Justin Julander is the founder and co-owner of Australian Addiction Reptiles. He has been keeping and breeding Australian reptiles for the last 16 years. Justin received a PhD in Bioveterinary Sciences from Utah State University in 2005 and is currently employed there as a research associate professor in the Institute for Antiviral Research. He is author of 2 books, 2 book chapters, and over 30 scientific articles.
- Conservation of iguanas in Andros
Desiree Wong will be sharing her experiences from the 2013 Shedd Aquarium's Iguana Research Expedition to Andros, Bahamas. She started out as a hobbyist, making small contributions to green iguana keeping. Eventually, a trip to Grand Cayman and experiences with the Blue Iguanas led her to become actively interested in conservation. For a number of years, she promoted reptile and amphibian conservation via the International Reptile Conservation Foundation, performing education and outreach at the reptile shows across the county. She hopes to continue making contributions to cyclura species conservation, with future trips planned to the Carribean and Bahamas.
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop!
Talk Summary The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop will leave you breathless (and not from the smell) and unable to look away from your reptile's feces again! Here you will learn about the Good (the beneficial flora and fauna of scat), the Bad (the nasties that lurk in your reptile's colon including parasites and signs of disease), and the Ugly (the differences between normal and abnormal dung). The TV show Scrubs puts it best, "it all comes down to poop".
Bio Erica is a certified veterinary technician (CVT) from Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital and the President and founder of Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue. Her deep seated love for reptiles started when she was a little girl at the Lincoln Park zoo, where she spent more time watching garter snakes in the small gardens than looking at the animals on display. Now she works towards her AVTCP Exotic and Avian specialization. Erica is currently the Technician Liaison for the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV because that's a mouth full) where she has utilized the rules of Zombieland for her presentation and helps with the CHS Jr. Herper meetings too (not with zombie talk). She currently enjoys sharing her home with a pitbull named Harley Quinn whose greatest joy in life is hiding pig ears under Erica's pillow and her mini-reptile collection all with similarly epic names.
2013-06-25Show and Tell
-The speaker is you
Members are invited to bring in their personal pets and share fun stories, interesting breeding information, general info and natural history facts about their favorite animal. Please transport your animals in escape proof enclosures that will protect them from the summer heat. Use coolers and cold packs as needed.
-Keeping and Breeding Tegus
Russ Gurley was a founding member of the American Federation of Herpetoculturists in the 1980s and served as a creative force behind The Vivarium magazine for several years. He has produced many books and articles relating to the captive care of reptiles, including geckos and other lizards, snakes, and more recently aquatic turtles and tortoises. These articles have appeared in journals such as Reptiles, Reptilia, MANOURIA, The Batagur, and on various websites.
Russ has a BFA in painting and illustration and minored in Zoology at Oklahoma State University and received his teaching credentials at East Central University. He has been a sculptor and illustrator, book layout designer, and he gets to paint in his limited free time. In addition to some of his paintings, Russ donates a handmade "action figure" sculpture each year at the auction at the fall Tinley Park NARBC show and these one-of-a-kind figures have raised more than $15,000 for USARK and PIJAC over the last ten years. (Russ donated one set of figures, depicting Chad Brown and Robyn Markland, to raise money for Pro Exotics after their devastating fire.) Russ was an educator for seven years and was awarded Teacher of the Year honors twice and runner-up Teacher of the Year once.
Russ's first turtle-related book, The African Spurred Tortoise, Geochelone sulcata, in Captivity, was published in 2002 and has sold over 25,000 copies. He has authored a number of other popular books including A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World I, A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World II, Tarantulas and Scorpions in Captivity, Keeping and Breeding Freshwater Turtles, Baby Turtles, SULCATAS: Spurred Tortoises in Captivity, Turtles in Captivity, LIZARD MAN: The Life and Adventures of Bert Langerwerf (with Bert), and he currently has a few other books in the works.
Russ is the Director of the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group, an organization that promotes the captive breeding of rare turtles and tortoises and spreads the most recent information relating to the keeping and breeding of captive turtles and tortoises through The Batagur magazine, articles, books, conferences and workshops, and through their website (www.ttpg.org). Russ and his TTPG members host the TTPG Conference on Captive Care and Breeding in Arizona each year in November.
Russ is also the owner of LIVING ART publishing www.livingartpublishing.com. This company publishes herpetoculture-related books and has received numerous accolades recently for its Turtles of the World Series. This series of intensely focused books will eventually cover most species of turtles and tortoises on the planet and Russ currently has turtle and tortoise experts worldwide working on manuscripts. The first of the series are Leopard Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Stigmochelys pardalis by Richard Fife and Jerry Fife and Star Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Geochelone elegans and Geochelone platynota by Jerry Fife. Matamatas: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Chelus fimbriatus by David Fogel, Redfoots and Yellowfoots: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Chelonoidis carbonaria and Chelonoidis denticulata by Amanda Ebenhack, and the upcoming Mediterranean Tortoises: The Natural History, Captive Care, and Breeding of Testudo species by Jerry Fife.
Russ maintains a large collection of turtles and tortoises and has a variety of unusual snake and lizard projects. He enjoys working with Pyxis species, Testudo species, and a number of aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Russ was the first in the US to breed the Flat-tailed tortoise, Pyxis planicauda, and the Toad-headed turtle, Phrynops tuberculatus. He also likes Cordylus species, Egernia species, and Blue tegus, among others. Russ and his wife, Fionnuala, have two daughters.
-Citizen Science A Volunteer Army
Dan Krull is a herpetologist, environmental consultant, on camera talent, public speaker, and all around herp enthusiast. He works for Herp Nation Media as a producer, talent, and salesman. He is an avid fishermen and outdoorsman who loves finding and photographing herps anywhere he can. He has fifteen years experience captive breeding colubrid snakes, amphibians, geckos and chameleons, and currently breeds western hognose snakes. Dan's life goal is to have a positive effect on herp conservation and science in general by educating EVERYONE, especially kids.
Dan will discuss how real scientific discovery is being inhibited by the process research gets funded, and how everyday folks can change that.
-Herping the Trans-Pecos: Meyenberg to Sanderson Snakedays
Gerry Salmon has been an avid naturalist for most of his fifty-two years. He has a strong interest in Herpetology and geographic distribution of North American reptiles and amphibians. He is a former state park naturalist for New York and South Carolina, an associate of the Department of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, and worked at the Miami Serpentarium in the early 1980's. He recently retired from a career with the New York State Police and now resides in Boerne, Texas. He now works as a seasonal endangered species monitor on pipelines and wind farms in the Northeast. Gerry is also a current board member of the Southwest Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) and is a volunteer curatorial assistant in the Texas Natural History Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. One of Gerry's primary interests is the natural history and diversity of snakes and other herps in the American Southwest and Mexico. His talk is based on more than 25 years of experience in the region and its herpetology.
-Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes, Bogertophis subocularis
The focused study of an organism's natural history leads to interesting questions that can be answered by scientific investigation. This presentation takes us through the natural history of Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes (Bogertophis subocularis). From their evolutionary relationships - to the very little we think we know about their ecology, reproduction, and population dynamics - a literature review of "Subocs" has led this presenter to two conclusions: (1) They are possibly the most unique among their many extant Lampropeltinine relatives, and (2) they may serve as a useful model for answering some important, general questions about evolution and speciation (i.e. the formation of new species), as well as the population structure of Chihuahuan Desert herpetofauna. The latter is an important question for conservation, as this is the richest geographical region in squamate diversity in a massive area of planet earth spanning Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico.
While this talk will briefly cover keeper interests, such as husbandry and captive color mutations, the main focus is natural history and a prospectus for research using comparative phylogeographic methods.
Finally, the presenter will touch on the importance and enormous, unequalled, and largely untapped power of herpers in aiding important scientific research.
Dustin ("Dusty") Rhoads was born and raised in Galveston County, Texas, and from a very young age, "herpetology" to him meant excitement and adventure - catching and keeping snakes, lizards, turtles, toads, and other creatures, and teaching his family and friends about them. For years he kept and eventually bred "herps", but it wasn't until his final year as a college senior that he learned that herpetology could also mean using the predictive power of evolution science to answer the unknown about any creature that someone has an interest in. Dusty is a Brigham Young University graduate and is the author of several popular and peer-reviewed publications, including the well-reviewed book, The Complete Suboc (ECO Herpetological Publishing, 2008), which covers all ratsnake species west of the Pecos River. Until recently, Dusty attended graduate school at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) studying the evolution, ecology, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. His herpetological interests include natural selection, the genes influencing local color adaptation and speciation, geographic variation, phylogeography, and the evolution and persistence of the "Blonde" gene in Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes. He's also interested in helping others understand and overcome the fear of snakes, and in using native plants to invite wildlife back into our now largely suburbanized country. He's a firm believer that there is room for many experts on North America's comparatively "well-known" herps, though he thinks "poorly-known" is nearer the mark for perhaps all of them. He also feels that- no matter how herpetology changes in meaning throughout a student's lifetime - it should never stop meaning excitement and adventure.
Ray has the distinction of having been the only Zoologist/Curator who has managed the extensive herp collections at both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos. Moreover, following his departure first from Lincoln Park and then from Brookfield, Ray witnessed the closure of both highly popular reptile houses. In Ray's view, these closings leave an enormous void in Chicagoland and as we know, Nature abhors a vacuum. So should we. Ray has served as a Zoo exhibits consultant from time to time at Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and other Chicago area facilities during his tenure at Brookfield Zoo over the decades and these assignments have often provoked new ideas about creating a new, stand-alone herpetological facility in Chicago. Ray will share these ideas with you. Nearly 40 years of managing not only herp, but, at times, mammal and bird collections at both Zoos; published over 100 articles including some peer reviewed; served on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board for 17+ years; conducted several major animal acquisition expeditions to Mexico, Kenya and the USSR; and was a Charter board member associated with the Willowbrook Wildlife Haven in DuPage County. Ray's passion for herps is equaled only by his enthusiasm for the visitors who flock to reptile houses to see them.
2012-11-28Julie Tenbensel / Elections
-Dragons in Our Midst
At this meeting local CHS member Julie tenBensel will present "Dragons in Our Midst," a program dealing with the proper husbandry of monitor lizards.
Gerold Merker, a private breeder from northern California, will speak to us about rosy boas. Gerold is a co-author of Rosy Boas: Patterns in Time and several other books on snakes of the western U.S.
of the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research, will speak on "Rock Iguanas: Conservation of the World's Most Endangered Lizards." In addition to rock iguanas, Jeff's professional research interests include monitor lizards and native Southern California herpetofauna. Jeff also enjoys photographing wildlife and has traveled extensively throughout the world in search of his subjects.
-Cohabitation of Species
of Tucson, Arizona, will present "Burrow Buddies --- or Not? (What's up with That?)". This program deals with desert herp species that den communally. Roger spent his formative years in the Chicago suburbs. He came out of his mother's womb a herpetologist, but the formation of the Chicago Herpetological Society was the catalyst for a lifelong passion for our crawly friends. By profession, he is Instrument Shop Supervisor for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. By avocation, he is a rabid field herpetologist who has averaged 800 field hours per year in Arizona since 1989.
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop!
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Poop!
-Biodiversity in Ecuador
a freelance ecologist from Libertyville, Illinois, will speak on "Ecuador: Biodiversity in the New World Tropics." Bryan was gracious enough to respond affirmatively to a last-minute invitation when our previously scheduled speaker canceled. He has spent many months in Ecuador and has many spectacular photographs to share with us.
-Show and Tell
Please bring your favorite animal for show and tell.
-Venom Variation in Speckled Rattlesnakes
A 2012 recipient of a Chicago Herpetological Society Grant, Chip will be joining us to share his research on the venom variation of the Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake and show how the CHS helped further his research. Chip is a graduate of the University of Arizona studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is currently a graduate student at Loma Linda University studying 'intraspecific venom variation in order to continue my quest to travel the world while bothering various venomous snakes.' http://travels4toxins.wordpress.com/my-research/
-Ancient lands and sticky hands: Gecko biogeography and evolution
Tony Gamble has had a long interest in amphibians and reptiles, particularly geckos.Tony received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2008 studying the bio geography and evolution of geckos. He is now a postdoctoral researcher and has just received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation to examine the evolution of sex determining mechanisms in geckos, a project that builds upon his dissertation research. Tony has conducted herpetological field work throughout the United States and Puerto Rico as well as Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, and South Africa.
-Native Species Recovery Program at the ABQ Bio Park.
Doug has been active as a professional herpetologist for about 30 years. Doug has worked at several AZA institutions as a keeper, senior keeper, manager, general curator and even an executive director. In addition to perfecting husbandry and propagation skills with zoos, Doug has served as a contract biologist for the state of Indiana and US department of the Navy in heading up the Timber rattlesnake conservation program where he initiated the program and served as primary investigator for seven years. Mr. Hotle routinely assists in training for individuals who come in contact with venomous snakes as a part of their occupation. Mr. Hotle has also worked as Curator of Herpetology for the Natural Toxins Research Center at Texas A&M University-Kingsville where he oversaw the husbandry at serpentarium of over 500 venomous snakes, performed daily venom extractions and conducted research on the biomedical applications of snake venoms. Doug has published for both general audiences as well as in peer-reviewed journals.
Currently Doug serves as Curator of Herpetology for the Albuquerque Biological Park as in now working in conjunction with State and Federal agencies on conservation programs for native endangered herps.
-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly- Investigating the interaction between the American Alligator and its Parasites.
Although crocodilian parasites have been documented since 1819, there has been no in-depth study investigating the relationship they have with their parasites. It is possible that a unique relationship has evolved over 200 million years, contributing to the immunology, behavior, diet and physiology of crocodilians. As a result of increase environmental and anthropogenic disturbances in crocodilian habitat worldwide, understanding this ancient host-parasite system can provide vital information for conservation management for both crocodilians and their habitat, as well as provide further information on crocodilian’s trophic status within the ecosytem. Marisa Tellez’s research focuses on parasitism of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in Louisiana. Besides documenting the similarities and differences of stomach and intestinal parasites in alligators in southern Louisiana, her study examines how anthropogenic and environmental alterations affect parasitism over a 3 year period. Additionally, she is examining differences of parasitic infection between Louisiana and Florida alligators.
Marisa Tellez was raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA. She earned a BS in zoology and BA in Cultural Anthropology from University of California, Santa Barbara (2005), and a MA from University of California, Los Angeles (2010). Marisa began her work with crocodilians at the EcoStation and LA Zoo in 2007, and has since travel to Louisiana, Florida, Mexico, Belize, and South America to pursue her interests of crocodilian parasitism. She currently has a book submitted for publication on crocodilian parasitism. Marisa is now a PhD Candidate of Biology at UCLA.
-Herping in Mexico
Mike Pingleton has been involved with field herpetology and herpetoculture for nearly forty years. Activities in the field have taken him to many interesting places across the United States, and these "herp trips" are documented in his web journals (www.pingleton.com). Over the years Mike has raised and bred many species of lizards, snakes, frogs and turtles. Publications include magazine articles, a book on Redfoot Tortoises, and a forthcoming book on field herping.
-Boelens pythons wild and captive research
He's also presenting data from 2 year study on ultraviolet light basking behavior.
In place of the December meetitng, we are hosting a holiday party.
2011-11-30Dr. Sue Horton, Erica Livingston, Karen Furnweger
-The unfortunate story of an adopted Gopher Tortoise
They will be putting on a talk detailing the account of an unfortunate Gopher Tortoise that Karen rescued, the vet care it took to save it and the husbandry steps that would have prevented the case in the first place!! Weather permitting we will have an appearance of the bionic tortoise itself.
Dr. Susan Horton is a University of Illinois graduate. She is the founding owner of Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, which was established in 2000. She has been the Chief of Staff there since 2000, along with consulting veterinarian in exotic and avian medicine to the emergency hospital Animal 911. She hosts many veterinary students each year who are interested in this field. She enjoys teaching current and future veterinarians the interesting art of avian and exotic veterinary medicine, especially when it comes to reptiles. She also attends and participates in several of the yearly veterinary conferences on avian, reptilian, and exotic animal medicine. Through these venues she has continued her education in medicine, surgery, cytology, radiology, and all other aspects of avian, reptilian, and exotic animal medicine.
Dr. Horton has lectured to the Northern Illinois Parrot Society, the University of Illinois, and has been published in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, Journal of Herpetologic Medicine and Surgery, and 'Invertebrate Biology'. She is a member of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (has been since it's inception) where she is chair for the 'What's your diagnosis?' section of the journal and chair person for the Public Relations, Social Media, and Membership Committee, and she is also a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, AAZV, and AVMA. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Reptilian and Amphibian Medicine and the Exotic DVM Magazine. She is also a member of the Turtle Survival Alliance. Through this organization, she helps endangered Asian turtles by volunteering time, medicine, and her home to foster turtles. Reptile and amphibian medicine and surgery have always been her passion. She has always sought out the rare venues for education and experience in this area. She keeps Dendrobates tinctorius, Rhacodactylus ciliatus, and Ceratophrys ornata currently, though has housed many species at one time or another. The freedom to keep, enjoy and breed reptile and amphibian species is also very important to her. Recently she has been becoming involved with local reptile enthusiast groups such as the WCR. She hopes to be able to contribute more in the future. She also enjoys keeping honey bees!
A description of Chicago Exotics:
Exotic pets like rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, birds, fish, hedgehogs, and guinea pigs have special care needs and Chicago Exotics specializes in meeting those needs. We operate a full service avian and exotic animal hospital featuring Dr. Susan Horton, Dr. Katy Parr, Dr. Deanne Strat, Dr. Stephanie Moy and Dr. Dana Varble. Their extensive knowledge and expertise with exotic species combines the best of personal and clinical experience. Our location is in Skokie, Illinois. We provide service for the entire Chicago area as well as Southern Wisconsin and Western Indiana.
Our hospital has the capability of serving all sorts of animals from the smallest fish to the largest reptiles. Our warm exotic ICU features avian incubators, reptilian incubators (aquatic and not), fish and amphibian ICU tanks, avian nebulizer unit, and inline oxygen for all cages. Outside the warm room, we have comfortable cages for all the soft fuzzy and not so fuzzy mammals and marsupials. We are especially bird friendly! Our in house diagnostic capability includes full blood and chemistry work, cytology, radiology, endoscopy, ultrasound, and surgery. We offer the opportunity for unique species to receive competent and compassionate veterinary care. Cases are seen by appointment, but emergency patients are gladly accepted as the need arises.
Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital offers 24 hour critical care services in association with our emergency partners, Animal 911, located in the same building.
-Erica Livingston is a Certified Veterinary Technician working for Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. She has a strong love of reptiles and wildlife. Erica is in the process of completing the requirements for an avian and exotic specialty certification. She is involved with ARAV (Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians) and hopes to bring more technicians into the conference. Prior to her current profession, she worked with native wildlife for five years at the Grove National Historic Landmark
-Karen Furnweger has been a CHS member since 1976, but her fascination with reptiles goes farther back into the mists of time, to when she got her first turtle when she was 6. Currently, she has 17 turtles, including Thea, the bionic gopher tortoise who is the subject of November's presentation.
2011-10-26Dr. Joseph R. Mendelson III
Dr. Mendelson has been studying Neotropical amphibians and reptiles for 20 years, concentrating mostly on Mexico and Central America. Most of his work has involved systematics and taxonomy?including the discovery and naming of about 35 new species of amphibians. Other studies have included phylogenetic studies, ecology, and natural history.
In recent years, as the crisis of global amphibian extinctions has really come to light, Dr. Mendelson has redirected much of his energy into conservation programs to help save amphibians, to elucidate the root causes of their declines, and to conceive and implement pro-active conservation programs. This professional transition included transferring from a tenured academic appointment at a university to a research & conservation position at a zoo, with an adjunct university affiliation.
-The Ultimate Tree Snake
Rich Sajdak is the author of 'Hunters in the Trees: A Natural History of Arboreal Snakes'. He completed a twenty year career at the Milwaukee County Zoo as Aquarium/Reptile Curator. He has done field research on Timber Rattlesnakes in Wisconsin, and on arboreal snakes in Costa Rica, Hispaniola, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Trinidad. He has published over forty professional and popular articles, and has had numerous photographs published in books and magazines.
-Conservation status of flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi-Ambystoma cingulatum complex) on the southeastern United States Coastal Plain.
Reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi) and frosted flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma cingulatum)-two closely-related salamanders endemic to the southeastern United States-have suffered range-wide population declines that mirror the loss of the highly-endangered long-leaf pine ecosystem upon which they depend. Consulting Biologist, John Palis-who has surveyed for and studied both species of flatwoods salamanders for over two decades-will share his knowledge of the natural history of these two secretive species and provide an update on their conservation status.
John was raised in suburban Brookfield, Illinois. He earned a BS in zoology from Southern Illinois University (1979) and a MS in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University (1987). John worked at Brookfield Zoo as an animal keeper in the children's zoo in the late 1970s and in the primate department in the early 1980s. John also worked as a zoologist for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, a Nature Conservancy heritage program. As a self-employed consulting biologist, John conducts herpetological surveys and studies in the Midwest and Southeast for a variety of clients.
-Show and Tell
June is usually our highest attendance because for the June meeting you are the show. It's our annual show-and-tell meeting. Bring your favorite animal and give a short five-minute presentation on anything you\'d like to say about a special critter. Please make sure that the animal is healthy and appropriately displayed.
-Women in Herpetology
Cindy Steinle is president of Wisconsin based Small Scale Reptile Rescue and is involved in pit bull rehabilitation. She is a site coordinator for kingsnake.com. She has served on the board of the Chicago Herpetological Society for several years. She serves in education outreach for the International Reptile Conservation Foundation. All of these activities mean she is well known through out the reptile community and frequently travels around the country for her various roles. Here's what she wrote about her presentation:
'My talk was inspired by Tracy Barker. At the height of the fight against HR669, Tracy called me to ask about statistics on kingsnake.com and we both were very surprised to learn that almost 50% of the user base was female. The reptile community as a whole is often looked as a boys' hobby. But with a little research, both Tracy and I stumbled on many women who paved the way for reptile keepers today, originally taking a back seat to their male counterparts. My talk will look at women past and present over the most recent century. I'll look at how they got their starts as well as obstacles they had to overcome. I'll also present the changes the community as a whole has had over time and the roles women now take.'
-Everglades Burmese Pythons
If you watched the Nature episode Invasion of the Giant Pythons on PBS you'll have seen Mike Rochford flying over and wading through the swamps of Florida pursuing Burmese pythons, but he's also done work on both the American alligator and the American crocodile. He's a graduate of Kansas State University and did herp surveys in Colorado and radio tracking of massasauga rattlesnakes in Missouri before going to work for the University of Florida under the direction of Dr. Frank Mazzotti and Dr. Kenneth G. Rice. He captured alligators and crocodiles to obtain morphometric data until he began to perform the majority of diet and telemetry work on the invasive python. He left Florida at the beginning of this year, but he's going to tell us of his adventures during his nearly five years catching alligators, crocodiles, and sixteen-foot Burmese pythons. He'll cover methods such as nest survey, aerial monitoring, radio-telemetry and captures.
2011-03-30Dan Warner and Aaron Reedy
-Why does nest temperature determine offspring sex in many reptiles? A case study with an Australian agamid lizard.
Dan is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. He received his B.S. in animal ecology from that institution, an M.S. in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. His work at the University of Sydney involved temperature-dependent sex determination of jacky dragons (Amphibolurus muricatus) and was partially funded by the CHS.
Aaron has started work on the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) and through an outreach program in connection with that work became involved with Golden Apple winner Aaron Reedy, a biology teacher at Kelly High School on Chicago's southwest side. Aaron's students are doing valuable research into nest-site selection behavior in brown anoles and Aaron will give us a short summary of the students' findings.
-Sexual Selection and the Mating Strategies of New World Natricine Snakes
Jerry Springer is not the only person conducting paternity test and knowing 'Who's the dad?' is not only important for humans. In her pioneering work partially funded by the CHS, Teri used DNA data to explore the relationships within populations and subfamilies of both plains (Thamnophis radix) and Butler's (Thamnophis butleri) garter snakes, and also explores morphological traits and abnormalities of individual snakes' sperm cells.
Don't let the fact that Terri Wusterbarth grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is currently teaching human anatomy and physiology at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay cause you not to show up for her presentation at the February meeting. I doubt she'll brag about the Packers...much. She has a B.S. in biology from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, an M.S. in conservation biology from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, where she no doubt gained some appreciation for the Bears. Her time at N.I.U. was spent studying natricine snake mating systems, and her talk will be on that subject.
-Mixing the Paleo-past and the Present together to create a new, one-of-a-kind Chicago Exotarium--let's do it.
Ray has the distinction of having been the only Zoologist/Curator who has managed the extensive herp collections at both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos. Moreover, following his departure first from Lincoln Park and then from Brookfield, Ray witnessed the closure of both highly popular reptile houses. In Ray's view, these closings leave an enormous void in Chicagoland and as we know, Nature abhors a vacuum. So should we. Ray has served as a Zoo exhibits consultant from time to time at Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and other Chicago area facilities during his tenure at Brookfield Zoo over the decades and these assignments have often provoked new ideas about creating a new, stand-alone herpetological facility in Chicago. Ray will share these ideas with you.
Nearly 40 years of managing not only herp, but, at times, mammal and bird collections at both Zoos; published over 100 articles including some peer reviewed; served on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board for 17+ years; conducted several major animal acquisition expeditions to Mexico, Kenya and the USSR; and was a Charter board member associated with the Willowbrook Wildlife Haven in DuPage County. Ray's passion for herps is equaled only by his enthusiasm for the visitors who flock to reptile houses to see them.
2010-11-24Jason Hood / Elections
-Peru - Trip of a Lifetime
We all know that when it comes to herping it is better to be lucky than it is to be good. In this talk Jason will go over his short trip to the Peruvian Amazon and the lucky finds made while there. There will be pictures galore including lots of spiders to make Linda squirm and that alone will give you a good reason to make it in and vote for the 2011 CHS Board. This will be a travelog of fantastic finds in the beautiful Amazon basin and some amazing views of Incan ruins high in the mountains.
Jason Hood is an amateur herper and photographer with a strong interest in the snakes of the world and an appreciation for all herps. Jason has been interested in reptiles ever since he caught his first anoles growing up in Florida. For the last 15+ years he has been very active in keeping and breeding herps in his private collection and for the last decade he has been honored to field herp with many great people all over the USA including many members of the CHS. Jason has also been an active CHS board member since coming to Chicago in late 2004.
2010-10-27Karen L. Eckert, Ph.D.
-Conservation in the of the Sea Turtle in the Caribbean Sea.
Dr. Karen L. Eckert received her Bachelor's
Degree in Biology with Highest Honors from
Principia College in 1980, and later a
Certificate in Global Policy Studies (1987) and
a doctorate in Zoology (1988) from the
University of Georgia. Her Certificate thesis
was entitled, 'Multi-lateral Conservation - A
Critique of Past and Present Efforts in the
Wider Caribbean Region'; her Dissertation was
entitled, 'Nesting Biology of the Leatherback
Sea Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea'. She has been
active for nearly three decades in the fields of
sea turtle research and international
conservation policy. She is the Executive
Director of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle
Conservation Network (WIDECAST,
2010-09-29Dr. Steve Barten and Dr. Gery Herrmann
-Ecuador Expedition: Galapagos Islands and Rain Forest.
In June, 2010, Steve and Gery traveled with a group of veterinarians to Ecuador. They spent three nights in the rain forest of eastern Ecuador, seeing the abundant local wildlife including herps, birds, monkeys and insects. The group then flew to the Galapagos Islands, where they boarded a ship, visited 10 of the islands and saw giant tortoises, land and marine iguanas, lava lizards, three of the four endemic snake species, and many birds, sea lions, insects and fish. They crossed the equator eight times. Their presentation will showcase descriptions and hundreds of photos of the native wildlife and scenery.
Steve and Gery are long time (decades) members of the CHS. Both are veterinarians with special interest in herp patients, and both have been active field herpers for many years.
2010-08-25George L. Heinrich (Heinrich Ecological Services)
-Florida Turtles: Conservation Challenges and Opportunities
George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator specializing in Florida turtles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based in St. Petersburg and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours. A graduate of Memphis State University, his interests include southeastern upland and brackish wetland ecosystems, conservation challenges facing Florida’s non-marine turtles, and the role of education in conserving herpetofauna. He has worked for a number of years on the conservation of gopher tortoises and has studied the ecology and conservation needs of diamondback terrapins as part of a University of North Florida research team since 1995. Recent collaborative projects have focused on two emydids, the diamondback terrapin (research on mortality in crab pots and a distributional study in the Big Bend region) and the Suwannee cooter (impacts of take for human consumption and boat strikes). His efforts to increase awareness of Florida turtle diversity and conservation challenges include natural history tours for the California Turtle and Tortoise Club and the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society. George has served twice as co-chair of the Gopher Tortoise Council and is the founding president of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust. He has received a number of awards from state and regional NGOs for his conservation work, the most recent being the Crystal Vision Award from the League of Environmental Educators in Florida.
-Jewels in the Crown: Unique and Memorable Field Herping Experiences, And What Made Them So
Mike Pingleton has been involved with field herpetology and herpetoculture for nearly forty years. Activities in the field have taken him to many interesting places across the United States, and these ‘herp trips’ are documented in his web journals (www.pingleton.com). Over the years Mike has raised and bred many species of lizards, snakes, frogs and turtles. Publications include magazine articles, a book on Redfoot Tortoises, and a forthcoming book on field herping.
-Life In The Dark
It features life forms that spend all or most of their time in the dark. The talk involves a little something for everyone as there are nocturnal reptiles and amphibians, cave life, termite mound inhabitants, deep sea life forms, etc.
Dante's research interests involve the ecology of animals living in challenging environments like subterranean ecosystems or forest canopies. He regularly conducts surveys of caves for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, documenting federally listed endangered species and keeping tabs on their populations. He also works with Brazilian colleagues in Central Brazil performing bioinventories of areas involved with hydroelectric power plant projects. With the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Dante helps to coordinate both local and international amphibian conservation efforts and to develop captive breeding methods for endangered species. Dante is finishing a book project right now that covers animals that spend all or most of their lives living in the dark.
Jeff Lemm is a herpetologist at the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research where he has been employed in the Applied Animal Ecology Division for nearly 18 years. An avid field herper, Jeff has also been keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians for over 25 years. Jeff's professional research interests include monitor lizards, rock iguanas, and native Southern California herpetofauna. Jeff also enjoys photographing wildlife in the wild and has traveled extensively throughout the world in search of his subjects.
2010-03-31Dr. Paul Sereno
-Prehistoric Crocodilian Research
Dr. Paul Sereno, a professor in the University of Chicago's Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and a world-famous paleontologist, will speak about crocodilians and their relatives, past and present. One of Paul's many notable discoveries was a remarkably complete skeleton of Sarcosuchus imperator, a 40-foot-long crocodyliform popularly known as SuperCroc. By studying modern crocodilians Paul has gained insights into how Sarcosuchus may have lived and grown. You don't want to miss this one!
Charles is the Director of Conservation and Research at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Upon confirming his invitation to speak he made a point to let me know that the first group he ever spoke to was the Chicago Herp Society in 1993. Charles has spent the last several years away from Chicago working on his graduate degrees. He has done a great deal of research and work in Iguanas and plans on speaking about them.
Ray is a retired curator of reptiles at Brookfield Zoo, who now makes his home near Hondo, New Mexico. Ray will speak about some of his experiences raising Galapagos tortoises at Brookfield and some questions that were left unanswered. In his own words, ''While lectures are basically informative (period), this topic is unique in that the audience will be informed AND will hear about some intriguing unanswered questions that arose while we were raising Galapagos tortoises at Brookfield Zoo. The goal of this talk is to share with the audience what we learned in hopes that some individual(s) might want to seek some answers through their own initiative.
-Ecology and Conservation of the King Cobra (Ophiophagous hannah) in the Western Ghats of India
We conducted the first-ever study of wild King Cobras (Ophiopagous hannah) in the Western Ghats of India, near Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, in the district of Shimoga, state of Karnataka. We implanted snakes with radiotransmitters and followed them continuously during their diurnal activity phase. We also made numerous behavioral observations of non-telemetered King Cobras. We observed a variety of reproductive behaviors, including combat, mate guarding by males, courtship, copulation, and nest guarding by females. We also observed King Cobras chasing, capturing and consuming snake prey, and two incidences of cannibalism. We present data on activity and movement patterns, and habitat use. Both males and females moved long distances during the pre-monsoon mating period. We often observed snakes climbing and resting high up in the forest canopy. We discuss our results in the context of ongoing conservation concerns, emphasizing potential effects of habitat fragmentation, and translocation of snakes 'rescued' from human habitations. We also discuss plans for long-term conservation of King Cobras, the entire herpetofaunal community.
Since 1984, I have studied various aspects of amphibian and reptile ecology and conservation. Most of my work has dealt with snakes in general and rattlesnakes in particular, with an emphasis in the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. I try to bridge the gap between applied and basic research, using natural history, ecological, behavioral, and genetic data to address conservation and management issues. I also have a strong interest in environmental education, and many of my projects have a significant educational component. I recently ended a five-year stint as the Sr. Co-chair of the Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. I am a member of the Science Advisory Board of the Malpai Borderlands Group.
-How human selective breeding has changed Australian bearded dragons.
In America, our selective breeding of Australian bearded dragons has produced dragons in many striking colors; it has also unconsciously affected other dragon characteristics, such as size, morphology and health. For instance, the very form of dragons has changed in a way that is consistent with classic signs of domestication. This talk will briefly discuss how such changes come about, the good and bad consequences of inbreeding, and how to minimize unwanted outcomes. She will also talk about a possible physical indicator of inbreeding that may help us select the most genetically robust dragons.
Kathryn Tosney received her Ph.D. at Stanford University and did postdoctoral research at Yale University. She spent many years on the faculty at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and is a long-time member of the Michigan Society of Herpetologists. She is now Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at the University of Miami in warm and herp-rich Florida.
-UV In Snakes And Turtles
Dr. Mitchell will be speaking on UV in snakes and turtles. He is an associate professor in veterinary clinical medicine at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and teaches classes involving zoo and wildlife medicine. He has published over 300 manuscripts, scientific abstracts, books and book chapters. He has a wide range of interests involving all types of exotic animals. He is past president of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians and currently scientific editor of that society's Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.
-Mean and Lowly Things: Snakes, Science and Survival in the Congo
Kate Jackson earned her Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University in 2002. She is currently an assistant professor in the Biology Department of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. The title of Dr. Jackson's PowerPoint presentation is the same as the title of her recent (2008) book from Harvard University Press. She will speak about her herpetological research in the Republic of Congo, and will be available to sign books following her talk. In her own words from the prologue to the book: '...this is the story of what went into producing a brief report of a survey of amphibians and reptiles, for publication in a scientific journal; the bureaucratic frustrations, disgusting food, parasites, diseases, linguistic confusion, complicated personalities, civil war, isolation, miserable living conditions, cultural misunderstandings, fear, danger, narrow escapes and also great kindnesses. In short, all the things they didn't prepare me for in graduate school at Harvard.
2009-05-27Bryan Grieg Fry
Dr. Fry heads a laboratory at the Department of Biochemistry in the Bio21 Institute of the University of Melbourne that specialises in the research of animal venoms. His life in his own words - ' My name is Dr. Bryan Grieg Fry and I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive. I get to travel the globe catching snakes with my lovely wife Alexia! Ever since I was a small child, all I have ever wanted to do is play with venomous animals for a living. Its quite a satisfying feeling to have this childhood obsession come true. It makes my mum feel a bit better about the myriad of strange, unusual and often dangerous animals that took up residence in our household during my years at home!' His most recent accomplishment is his paper on the venom system of the Komodo Dragaon and the extinct giant Megalania has been accepted for publication in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science).
-Ball Pythons-He did actually write the book on them...enough said!!
Dave Barker is a professed life-long snake-aholic. He started his professional career in high school at Mural's Pet Center in Crystal Lake, IL. His first snake friends were Roger Repp and Dale Rover, also from Crystal Lake. Roger introduced Dave to the wonders of the Chicago Herp Society, and Dave and Roger attended CHS meetings in 1969 and 1970, riding the train to downtown and taking a taxi to the Academy of Science.
After high school, Dave went to WIU, where he majored in dropping classes and extracurricular snake-hunting. In 1975 he took a job at the Dallas Zoo Department of Herpetology. At the Dallas Zoo he had the opportunity to work with many unusual and poorly known snake species. During his 10-year tenure at the Dallas Zoo, he served as the Zoo's public lecturer, and as a supervisor in the Reptile House and also in the Children's Zoo. In 1984 he left the Zoo to attend graduate school at UTA. He undertook a study of the geographic variation and natural history of the ridgenose rattlesnake, Crotalus willardi. The next four summers were spent doing field work in Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona; during the school year he taught the Comparative Anatomy labs. In 1988 he again joined a zoo, this time as Curator of Education at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX. After 18 months he returned to UTA to complete graduate school. In January 1990 he and wife Tracy started VPI, Inc., an incorporated commercial enterprise that specializes in the research and captive-propagation of pythons. They live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country and have two sons, a dog, a cat, two ferrets, and a turtle. Dave Barker has published over 100 popular articles, and several dozen scientific papers. He is co-author of A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas (1984, Texas Monthly Press). He and Tracy have published two volumes in the Pythons of the World monograph. The second volume was recognized as 'The Best Animal Book of 2006' by the Independent Publishers Annual Awards. They currently are working on the third volume.
-Historical and Ongoing Changes to Turtle Diversity and Distributions
Jim's academic credits span a broad range. His undergraduate degree is in geology from the University of Rhode Island, he worked on a dissertation in paleontology at U.C. Berkeley, and he's done post doc work in genomics and bioinformatics, the latter at the Biodiversity Synthesis Center (a component of the Encyclopedia of Life) housed in the Field Museum of Natural History. He's working on research projects in the Caribbean, China, the Middle East, and the U.S. His presentation will use his travels and research to show how human activities have affected turtles throughout the world. Jim is a speaker who brings a broad range of skills and expertise to the critical problems facing many reptiles, particularly turtles.
-Found and Lost: Discovery, Extirpation, and (hopefully) Reintroduction of the Kihansi Spray Toad.
Discovered in 1996 during the construction of a hydroelectric facility in Tanzania, one of the world's only live-bearing frogs was extinct in the wild by the end of 2003. Successful captive assurance colonies at the Toledo and Bronx Zoos provide the only hope of survival for this highly endemic amphibian.
Timothy Herman grew up in Peoria Il, and received a B.S. from the University of Illinois in 2001. From 1994-1999 he volanteered at the Glen Oak Zoo under Doug Holmes. In 2001 he worked with Chris Phillips and the INHS doing field work and assisting graduate students. In December of 2001 he started at the Toledo Zoo in the herpetology department. His tenure there has taken him to Panama and Africa for various projects. Tim is also an instructor for the AZA's Amphibian Biology, Conservation, and Captive Management course hosted by the Toledo Zoo.
-Blanding's Turtle Recovery Project
2008-10-29Will Bird and Phil Peak
-Field Herping techniques and what you can do...
Will Bird and Phil Peak will be discussing their new book on field herping techniques. These Kentucky natives have worked hard to be able to make contributions to the knowledge base of their local herps by contributing their field notes, voucher specimens (when needed), and their blood and sweat by being some of the hardest working field herpers around. Their hard work paid off in the past by finding record sized animals for both their state and the country as well as turning up the first Pine Snake in western Kentucky in decades which will hopefully lead to more conservation efforts by the state in that region. The talk will include many neat slides and their enthusiasm which is contagious. They will share some secret tips into their success in the field.
2008-09-24Mark Mitchell, DVM, MS,PHD
-Reptile Reproductive Assistance Programs: from conservation to captive breeding.
Dr. Mitchell will cover semen collection in reptiles, gender determination via endoscopy, and semen storage. He is an associate professor in veterinary clinical medicine at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and teaches classes involving zoo and wildlife medicine. He has published over 300 manuscripts, scientific abstracts, books and book chapters. He has a wide range of interests involving all types of exotic animals. He is past president of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians and currently scientific editor of that society's Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.
Dr. Michael Lannoo is the guru of declining amphibian topics. He is a professor at the Muncie Center for Medical Education at Indiana University School of Medicine teaching neurology. His field studies have taken him from Jamaica to Antarctica. He is the leading figure in the study of amphibian declines and malformations, and lectures widely about frog malformations. He's an author, editor and is the U.S. coordinator of the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force. In 2001 he won the Field Museum's Parker Gentry Award for Conservation Biology. An engaging speaker with keen insight into the amphibian problem, Dr. Lannoo will talk about frog malformations and environmental threats. He recently published Malformed Frogs: the Collapse of Aquatic Ecosystems.
-Molecular markers shed light on cryptic diversity and evolutionary processes: case studies from Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Identifying distinct evolutionary lineages and characterizing their distribution poses challenges to biodiversity conservation. This is particularly true in parts of the world that are poorly studied, and in species complexes whose morphology is highly conserved. In this seminar I will discuss herpetological research that combines fieldwork and molecular genetics to uncover previously uncharacterized diversity. In doing so, this work helps us better understand evolutionary processes that contributed to this variation and offers practical information for biodiversity conservation. We will first focus on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where geological and ecological factors have generated similar patterns of diversity among multiple species. We will then we will turn to the Itombwe Plateau in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where recent studies have uncovered a previously uncharacterized species of clawed frog that is emblematic of the high conservation value of this poorly studied area.
Ben Evans has been an Assistant Professor at McMaster University since 2004. He earned a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Tufts University in Massachusetts, a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in New York, and did postdoctoral work in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on evolution and population genetics of natural populations, and on molecular evolution and expression of duplicate genes.
-HERPETOFAUNA OF SHENNONGJIA NATIONAL RESERVE, HUBEI PROVINCE, CHINA
Kevin Messenger is a graduate from NC State University, receiving his B.S. in zoology in May of 2006. Three days after graduating he was on a plane to China for four months to study herps in a remote region of central China. His job was to survey the 800,000 acre forests of Shennongjia National Reserve; a location that previously had never been surveyed for herps. Not only was he going to be spending most of his time hiking the backwoods of China, but none of the reserve officials knew English very well, meaning Kevin had to have a crash course in Mandarin before going over.
His study in China entailed surveying for herps at various field stations dotted throughout the reserve, ranging from 2,000 ft to 10,000 ft. Part of his job was to introduce western techniques for finding herps, as well as provide the reserve with any sort of conservation measures he could think of along the way. Several obstacles were encountered during the trip, such as poor ID guides and a mandatory assistant that just happened to be afraid of snakes! Kevin? research in 2006 was only half of his project (a study he is ultimately planning to use towards a Master? degree); he plans to return for a one month stay later this year in July, and then wrap up his study with one more summer session, currently planned for 2009.
-HERP PHOTOGRAPHY: Beyond Snapshots
Everyone has a new digital camera these days, and their images of herps are all over the Internet. With so many pics for surfers to look at, how do you make yours stand out from the crowd to display that great field encounter, show off your pet, or sell your offspring? Let this new PowerPoint talk show you how to improve your photography and get your shots noticed. The kind of camera you use doesn? matter. This presentation, by veteran herp shutterbug Bill Love emphasizes the art and technique of capturing great images, not complicated, confusing gadgetry.
Bill Love's herpetological career started about age 5 in New Jersey finding box turtles in the woods near his home. During his youth, a favorite pastime was exploring the woods and ponds to watch and catch the local herps. That habit fully blossomed when he moved to Florida in his mid-teens. A few years later, he started making month-long drives across the U.S. annually to see wild herps, meet herp people, and learn about the emerging art of herpetoculture.
-Herps of Ecuador
Bryan is a 2005 graduate of Lake Forest College, receiving his B.S. in environmental Sciences, with a Minor in Communications. Bryan has had a great deal of experience traveling throughout the world in pursuit of finding and photographing what he believes to be some of the most amazing wildlife in existence. These destinations include Australia, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and various sites within the United States. Spending 3 months in Ecuador, he participated in various different projects ranging from Eleutherodactylus frog population studies, to dung beetle diversity along elevational gradients in the E. Andes.
He currently works as the Head Animal Keeper at the Wildlife Discovery Center on a part time basis. He has completed the WDC venomous certification program. His work run is mainly composed of venomous reptiles, but also includes monitors and geckos. His personal collection at home is dominated by a beautiful group of Green tree pythons (Morelia viridis), the best snake there is.
2008-02-27John C. Murphy
-Homalopsid Snakes and the Herpetofauna of Thailand
John is a long time educator, herpetologist, research assistant at the Field Museum, and author. His most recent book Homalopsid Snakes, Evolution in the Mud brings together important information and new knowledge about this fascinating group of snakes. John's travels have taken him to some beautiful places where he has taken photos of a huge range of herps and their environments. John will share his photos, experiences in Thailand, and knowledge of Homalopsids with us at the meeting.
2008-01-30Zoltan Takacs, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine
-How the cobra escapes its venom
Snake venom could kill a prey or predator in minutes, nevertheless snakes themselves are resistant to their own venoms. Zoltan's talk will explore this secret from the field to the lab bench. He takes us through the highs and lows of collecting venomous snakes in remote tropical wilderness, obtaining tissue samples, and testing the molecular mechanism of resistance in cobras, sea snakes, and mongooses back at the University of Chicago.
Hungarian-born Zoltan Takacs has been fascinated by reptiles since early childhood and started to pursue venomous snakes at age 14, an addiction he never gave up. His main academic interest is the molecular basis of snake venom resistance -- why cobras, sea snakes, and mongooses are not affected by elapid neurotoxins. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Columbia University and currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. A wildlife photographer, scuba diver, and aircraft pilot, Zoltan's quest for snakes has taken him to over 110 countries, and his work has been featured several times on the National Geographic Channel.
-The Beautiful and the Deadly
Zach grew up in the small town of Camden, Maine where he spent his summers in the woods avoiding the crowds of summer tourists by fishing, hiking, camping and exploring the mountains and nearby lakes. Zach's interest in reptiles blossomed during some volunteer work in Ecuador. He was subsequently hired by Global Vision International as a full time staff member on their Ecuadorian Wildlife Conservation project.
Zach is now a keeper and lecturer for Clyde Peeling's Reptiland in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. He will accompany the Peeling Productions exhibit for Reptiles. The Beautiful and the Deadly as the keeper and public presenter. This live exhibition features turtles, crocodilians, lizards and snakes and will be hosted by the Notebaert Nature Museum through January 13th. In addition to Zach's lecture at the October meeting, CHS members are invited to a viewing of the exhibit the evening of the November meeting at 6:00pm.
2007-09-26Dr. Daniel D. Beck
-Biology of Bumpy Lizards, New Icons of the Value of Biodiversity
Daniel D. Beck is a professor of biology at Central Washington University in Ellensburg Washington. Growing up along the Wasatch front in Utah, Daniel D. Beck found his early calling by keeping chickens and catching snakes, for which he built special cages. After stints as a zookeeper and a cabinetmaker, Dan earned BS and MS degrees in biology from Utah State University and a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona . His research on the ecology, physiology, and behavior of helodermatid lizards and rattlesnakes spans 25 years, and has taken him throughout the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. and the Tropical Dry Forests of Mexico and Guatemala. Once, while doing fieldwork in Sonora, Mexico, a Gila Monster even crawled into Dan's sleeping bag! Considered the foremost authority on helodermatid lizards, Dan's new book Biology of Gila Monsters and Beaded Lizards was released in summer of 2005 by the University of California Press. His interest in building also persists as many friends helped Dan and his family build a straw-bale house they now inhabit in Ellensburg, Washington.
2007-08-29Dr. Douglas Mader
-Medical Marvels in Herp Medicine
Dr. Mader, a graduate from the University of California, Davis in 1986, is the co-owner the Marathon Veterinary Hospital, a referral hospital in the Conch Republic. Dr. Mader is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline Practice) and is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Medicine. Currently he is the consulting veterinarian for the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital, the Monroe County Sheriff's Zoo, the Key West Aquarium and the Theater of the Sea. Dr. Mader has published numerous articles in scientific and veterinary journals and is on the review boards of several scientific journals.
You may be familiar with Dr. Mader through his monthly column in Reptiles magazine, Veterinarian Q and A and if you've ever taken a herp to the vet, you've likely benefited from his book, Reptile Medicine and Surgery, which is the standard veterinary textbook on the subject. Dr. Mader is an internationally acclaimed lecturer in high demand so we are lucky to have him as a speaker.
-The evolution of venom extraction
Jim Harrison is the director of the Kentucky Reptile Zoo and an acclaimed expert in the field of venom extraction. He has been studying venom for over 30 years and currently extracts from more than 600 animals per week. Jim has a busy schedule but makes time to give presentations about the many unique and almost unbelievable experiences he has had. His lifestyle is one that not many people could handle, or may not even want to attempt, because his life is put on the line each time he takes out a venomous snake for extraction but he provides a valuable product that can save lives.
-The 2006 Madagascar Tortoise Tour
Chris, herpetologist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation in Southwest Florida and longtime CHS member, will talk about his experiences as researcher and tour co-leader on his month long trip to Madagascar. He conducted research on all 4 native tortoises and will present a powerpoint slide show depicting the research and the many amazing herps that he encountered.
2007-04-25Dr. Carl Gerhardt
-Vocal Communication in Frogs
Dr. Carl Gerhardt is a professor from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
2007-03-28James H. Harding
-Comparative Life Histories of the Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and the Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta): Implications for Conservation.
James H. Harding is recognized as the expert on Michigan's amphibians and reptiles, is a research herpetologist specializing in the conservation biology of turtles, and is an instructor at Michigan State University, a mongmany other prestigious positions. He is the author or co-author of four popular books on reptiles and amphibians (listed below), and has written many articles for academic journals, newspapers and magazines. His expertise and advice is often sought by natural resource agencies and private organizations in their management and conservation efforts to protect Michigan's reptiles and amphibians. Michigan Snakes, 2006. Michigan Turtles and Lizards, 1990. Michigan Frogs,Toads, and Salamanders, 1992. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region, 1997.
-Ecology of the Blanding's turtle at a Northeastern Illinois Prairie-Wetland Community
Whitney is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and working for the Illinois Natural History Survey. She has been involved with turtle research in the Chicagoland area for three years and recently completed her M.S. at UIUC on the ecology of Blanding's turtles at the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve.
2007-01-31Dr. Robert Brodman
-Dr. Bob's Wild Herping Adventures in Africa
Dr. Bodman is professor of biology and environmental science at Saint Joseph's College, Indiana.
-Amazing Frogs: Appearance, Behavior and Lifestyle
Marty is an adjunct professor of biology at Northern Arizona University.
-Keeping and Breeding the Malagasy Spider and Flat-tailed Tortoises, Pyxis arachnoides and P. planicauda
These species are listed as Vulnerable and Endangered, respectively, on the IUCN Red Data List. Both species were exported from Madagascar in large numbers during 2000 and 2001. Dan currently lives in Gainesville, FL.
-Pilgrimage to Panama Presented in PowerPoint: An Old-Fashioned CHS Travelogue, Sans Slides.
This presentation will chronicle the highlights of Mike's recent trip to Panama in May 2006. The purpose of the trip was to see and photograph some of the last Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki) remaining in the wild. Atelopus zeteki and other Central American amphibians are being driven to extinction by the spread of Chytridomycosis, a fungal infection that is apparently infective to populations living at medium to high-elevations, and it is believed that the remaining wild golden frogs will not survive more than 1-2 more years. The presentation will be loaded with color photographs covering some of the culture and natural history of this important Latin American Nation, and will discuss some of the efforts to conserve it's unique amphibians.
2006-05-31William Griswold, DVM
-Hiding in Plain Sight: Florida's Overlooked Herpetofauna.
Although few states can rival the diversity of reptiles and amphibians found in Florida, many of the Sunshine State's rarest, most unusual, and most unique reptiles and amphibians remain unknown to the average herpetologist. Dr. Griswold will share photographs, natural history vignettes, and personal experiences from eighteen years of field herping throughout Florida.
-Swimming with Cobras
Thomas, a graduate student in biology at Southeastern Louisiana University, will give an account of an expedition he led to study Storm's water cobra, Boulengerina annulata stormsi, which inhabits Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania.
-Crotalus polystictus: A Long-term Mark and Recapture Study
Alan, curator of the Reptile/Amphibian/Aquarium Department at the San Antonio Zoo, will speak on Life History Traits of the Lance-headed Rattlesnake, Crotalus polystictus. Alan and his colleagues have discovered that this tropical Mexican rattlesnake differs in many interesting ways from the temperate species that are more familiar to most of us. Alan will also present photos from recent trips to the Mexican states of Durango and Zacatecas.
2006-01-25Dr. Paul T. Andreadis
-I Like to Watch: Insights from Observing Herps.
Paul is a visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Paul will show a field video of various herps (and other animals), with emphasis on the foraging behavior of cottonmouths. His suggestion to all is: In captivity, admire them, but admire what they do as well as how they look. In the field, catch if you must, but watch first if you can.
-Bob will speak to us about some of his impressive animals and will bring in some live examples.
-Tom, the author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri and former state herpetologist for Missouri, will speak about his 10 favorite Missouri herps.
-Arizona Herpetological Potpourri: The Last 35 mm Slide Show?
Naturalist and rabid avocational field herpetologist Roger Repp will present Arizona Herpetological Potpourri: The Last 35 mm Slide Show? In this presentation, Roger will spurn the use of PowerPoint, maps and charts. He will instead use the best slides of 25 different herpetographers to demonstrate cryptic coloration, color polymorphism, color ontogeny, and natural history aspects of the herpetofauna of Arizona. Roger will take us from the sandy dune country of Arizona to the forested peaks, and include in situ shots of wild herps captured in incredible behaviors. Roger promises that there will be something for all lovers of herps in this program.
-Operation Armenian Viper: Radio-tracking Vipers in Khosrov Reserve
Jeff, Curator of Herpetology and Aquatics at the St. Louis Zoo, will speak about populations of the Armenian viper, Montivipera raddei and how they have experienced a steady decline over the past twenty years as a result of human pressures. Data from this study will be used to prepare a conservation management plan for the species.
2005-06-29Dr. Philip A. Cochran
-Ecology of Wood Turtles in Northeast Wisconsin and Their Potential Role as Seed Dispersers.
Dr. Cochran is a professor of biology at Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota.
2005-05-25Dr. Emily N. Taylor
-Why Are Male Rattlesnakes Larger than Females?
Most rattlesnake species show sexual size dimorphism, with males being larger than females. Dr. Taylor, of Arizona State University, will describe a series of experiments she conducted to determine the mechanism responsible for this dimorphism, and will discuss its evolutionary and ecological significance.
-Herpetological Miscellany from New Mexico.
Charlie has worked as staff herpetologist with NMDGF for 20 years. His main interests include conservation and natural history of southwestern amphibians and reptiles. Current projects include investigations of the status and distribution of sand dune lizards, Chiricahua leopard frogs, Jemez Mountains salamanders, and denning ecology of prairie rattlesnakes.
-Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake.
Rebecca Christoffel, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University and who received a CHS grant for this project two years ago, will describe her public education and outreach efforts in southeast Michigan.
2005-02-23Nathaniel J. Dominy, Ph.D
-The Sensory Biology of Reptiles
Dr. Dominy is a professor in anthropology at UC-Santa Cruz. Although his research emphasizes the sensory ecology of primates, he has abroad interest in the sensory biology of reptiles, particularly their visual systems. The visual system of reptiles differs quite remarkably from our own because reptiles have four instead of three cone photo pigments in the retina. The substance of Dr. Dominy's talk will focus on how reptiles use vision and color in an ecological context, from foraging to sexual signaling.
-Two Difficult Problems in Herpetology: The Origin of Worm Lizards and the Origin of Snakes.
Maureen works at the Field Museum of Natural History.
-The Wilds of Illinois: Shawnee National Forest.
The Sierra Club's Shawnee Wilderness slide show will take you on a tour of nine special areas located within the Forest: the Wilderness areas. Douglas is a conservation field representative for the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club.
-Renowned author and nature photographer Karl Switak will speak and show slides on the wonders of South Africa's Kalahari Desert.
This program will include scenes from Karl's latest trip to the Kalahari, last October, on which he was accompanied by Lori King and Mike Dloogatch.
2004-08-25Mike Dloogatch and Ron Humbert
-State Reptile and Amphibian Selection
This meeting will be devoted to the upcoming effort to provide the state of Illinois with an official State Reptile and an official State Amphibian. Ron Humbert and Mike Dloogatch will speak about Illinois herpetofauna in general and provide detailed information about the top five candidate species in each category. Members present at the meeting will be asked to vote for their top choices.
2004-07-28Dr. Ryan Calsbeek
-Mate selection by females of the common side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana
Dr. Calsbeek, of the Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment, University of California at Los Angeles, will describe the surprising results of his research into mate selection by females of the common side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana.
-The Use of Herps in Advertising
Jack, Chair of the Department of Business Technologies at Ivy Tech State College in Valparaiso, Indiana, and former CHS President, will present a slide program about the use of herps in advertising.
-A Narrative of Biodiversity after 25 Years of Field Experience
Dant is a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma. He is well known as the author of numerous articles in Reptiles and Vivarium magazines.
-Turtles: Past, Present and Future
Ron Humbert, a long time CHS member will talk about the history of turtles, as well as their future.
2004-01-28Dr. R. Kathryn Vaughan
-The Natural History of Leptotyphlops
Dr. Vaughan will discuss the fascinating natural history and taxonomy of these tiny, burrowing, blind snakes, with particular reference to the Plains threadsnake, Leptotyphlops dulcis, of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.
-Namibia: In Search of Geckos, Adders, and Answers
Dale DeNardo is a paradox (pair-of-docs) in that he has both a DVM and a Ph.D. He has been at Arizona State University since 1998, where he is the University Veterinarian as well as an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences. His research examines the relationship between an animal's physiology and the environment (i.e., how an animal's physiologic state affects how it uses the environmental and, contrarily, how environmental constraints affect an animal's physiological condition). He is particularly interested in the relationship among reproduction, energy availability, temperature, and water balance. His work utilizes both laboratory and field studies, predominantly using Sonoran Desert squamates as study species. However, his studies also take him overseas.
Dale's presentation will take the audience on a tour of Namibia and its diverse assemblage of geckos and small adders, as well as discuss how he has used these animals to gain insight into how geckos have evolved to become nocturnal, even in relatively cold climates.
2003-10-29Geoffrey G. Sorrell
-Population Ecology of the Eyelash Viper, Bothriechis schlegelii, in Western Panama.
Geoffrey is a student at Auburn University in Alabama. His study was partially funded by a Chicago Herpetological Society grant last year.
-Research, Conservation and Husbandry of Hellbenders and Giant Salamanders.
Jessi is the supervisor of reptiles and amphibians at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Jessi is a founding member of the Cryptobranchid Interest Group, which is supported by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. He is also involved with the Puerto Rican crested toad recovery project and several other herp-related conservation and research projects.
2003-08-27Dr. Susan Mineka
-Why Are So Many Human and Nonhuman Primates Afraid of Snakes?
Susan is a Professor of Psychology, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
2003-07-30Dr. Robert Powell
-The Anoles of Grenada -- and Interactions with Other Reptiles.
Dr. Powell's research interests in recent years have focused primarily on Hispaniolan herpetofauna. Since 1986 he has made nearly 40 trips to the West Indies to study the life histories and community and structure of amphibians and reptiles. His emphasis has been on anoline communities on those tropical and sub-tropical islands.
-Maintaining Cordylus Species in the Home Environment
Having bred and raised a large number of Cordylid lizards indoors over the past eighteen years, this lecture presents an overview of three distinct species; Cordylus cataphractus, Cordylus warreni depressus and Cordylus giganteus, plus many various anecdotes and situations which accompany each species. If viviparous (live bearing) lizards are your cup of tea, then this talk is for you.
-The Giant Lizards of Gomera
Jim has been appointed curator of the captive breeding program for the rare lacertid lizard, Gallotia bravoana, by the government of the Canary Islands . Gallotia bravoana is endemic to the island of La Gomera.
-Don, creator of The Adventures of Spot, will lecture and show slides on his book, Tales from the Golden Age of Rattlesnake Hunting.
He will have copies available of his book of the same title, and will be happy to autograph them.
-Herp research in the Lake Superior Basin. Also, a question and answer session on the status of Wisconsin reptiles and amphibians.
Gary is from the Milwaukee Public Museum.
-Crocodilians - Fact vs. Fiction
Jim is the Curator of Reptiles at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park
-The Asian Turtle Crisis
Darrell is the Director of the World Chelonian Trust
-A Review of the Commercial Trade in the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.
Are Rattlesnake Roundups as Bad as You Think - or Worse?
-An Overview of the Dwarf Caiman, Paleosuchus.
Pete is from the St. Louis Zoo Herpetarium.
-A Natural History of the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus).
Mike is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
2002-06-26Dr. Andrew T. Holycross
-Research on rattlesnakes
Dr. Holycross is a professor at Arizona state University in Tempe, Arizona.
-Holistic approaches to herp medicine
-Don, the creator of The Adventures of Spot comic will speak on his new book, Tales from the Golden Age of Rattlesnake Hunting.
He will have copies of this book available for purchase. Don will be happy to autograph your copy if you wish.
2002-02-27Dr. Richard King
-Movements and hibernation of the Lake Erie Water Snake: implications for the recovery of a threatened species.
2002-01-30Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko
-Caecilians, Medical Management and Husbandry
Natalie is a staff veterinarian at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Dr. Mylniczenko will speak about the anatomy and physiology of these aquatic and terrestrial animals. She will also discuss husbandry, diseases and general treatment of caecilians.
-Development of the Wildlife Discovery Center.
His program will include a slide presentation about youth-oriented wilderness trips, and live herps and birds of prey from the Center's collection.
-The Vipers -- An Overview of the Family Viperidae
John is a Field Associate in the Department of Herpetology at the California Academy of Sciences, and is well-known for his outstanding photography of reptiles and amphibians.
-The National Amphibian Conservation Center: From Concept to Completion.
Andy will touch on some of the highlights of the past year, and update us on future plans. He will also talk about some of the reptile-oriented programs at the Detroit Zoo.
-Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California: More Diversity than Meets the Eye!
Robert is a herpetologist who has worked in southern California for a number of years. He has academic degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Loma Linda University. His research has focused on many species of the region's herpetofauna, particularly night lizards (Xantusia henshawi), arroyo toads (Bufo californicus), and desert tortoises. His major focus is in biogeography, systematics, and evolution of the region's reptiles and amphibians. While his work is considered more of a hobby than a vocation, Robert has broad interests and is currently a wildlife biologist for the Department of Defense in San Diego. When Robert is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim of the San Diego Zoo, surfing, or working on his Pontiac GTO.
2001-07-25Dr. Martin Wikelski
-Evolution of body size in Galapagos Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) -- why shrink during El Nino
His topic will be about the physical changes that have occurred in Galapagos iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) subsequent to the recent El Nino. Dr. Wikelski is an Assistant Professor at Princeton University - Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.
-Care and Breeding of Chuckwallas
2001-04-25Dr. Peter C. H. Pritchard
-The Search for the World's Largest Freshwater Turtle
His talk will be about the giant softshell turtles of Asia, and in particular the species Rafetus swinhoei. This may be the largest of the freshwater turtles of the world -- it reaches over 300 pounds -- and may also be the rarest. There are only two in western museums, one in London and one in Vienna, and both date from 100 years ago or more. Peter is trying to close in on a clear understanding of the status of the species. His goal is to obtain salvage voucher specimens as soon as possible, to identify all known museum specimens (i.e. in Vietnam and China), and to put forward some kind of plan or recommendations to give the species a future. There is only one in captivity, in the Shanghai Zoo, and one (or possibly more) live one(s) in Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi.
2001-03-28Ron Humbert and Mike Redmer
-They will present an overview of nature as well as exotic amphibians, starting with those found in your backyard and including some from far away as the jungles of Borneo.
Included will be a number of before and after photo pairs, showing larvae and the adult forms.
-Herping South Carolina -- Then and Now
Gerry's presentation will be an overview of more than twenty years experience in herp collecting in South Carolina and the impact of snake hunting since publication of Carl Kauffeld's book Snakes and Snake Hunting. He is a former naturalist at Myrtle Beach State Park and has given two previous programs for CHS Bart Bruno, Gerry Salmon and Eric Richter with a Pituophis melanoleucus sayi(Bull Snake).
-A Review of the Herpetofauna of Mississippi and the Biogeographic Regions Influencing Its Distribution in the Magnolia State, or...Mos'ly We Jus' Shoot 'em!
Terry is a Herpetology Field Associate with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.
-Building a Collection that Doesn't Eat: Photographing Amphibians and Reptiles.
Mike is a long-time CHS member and experienced nature photographer. He is the contributing editor of the Behind the Lens column which appears in Reptiles Magazine, and he contributed many of the photographs in A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois published by the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1999.
2000-09-27Dr. Robert Sprackland
-Recent findings on the monitors of Indo-Australia
Dr. Robert Sprackland is the Author of Giant Lizards and Contributing Editor of Reptiles magazine.
-Fun with Fearless Flyers: The biomechanics of Flying Snakes of Southeast Asia.
Jake Socha is a 5th year grad student at the University of Chicago in biomechanics and a recipient of a CHS grant award.
-Louisville Zoo's conservation program of Crocodylus rhombifer / Cuban crocodile.
Bill McMahan is the Curator of Ectotherms at the Louisville Zoo, Louisville, KY.
-Herps of Indonesia
Al Baldogo has been traveling to the islands of Indonesia since 1994. He has devoted much of his time to the study of the rare Boelens python found on New Guinea. His association with the native cultures of New Guinea have enabled him to travel where few Westerners have been allowed to go. Included in his programs are glimpses of these fascinating people as well as a diverse selection of Indonesia's other wildlife. In 1999 he was the field guide and story teller in a documentary based on the Boelens pythons filmed by Wild Things of Hollywood, CA. Al and his wife Cindy are the owners of Baldogo Reptiles in Fontanelle, Iowa. They specialize in the keeping and breeding of reticulated pythons.