- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
The Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC) had their annual meeting in Massachusetts this past summer for the first time in more than a decade. The meeting was held at the Red Barn at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and brought together scientists, researchers, and managers focused on reptile and amphibian conservation from all of the 13 states and the District of Columbia making up its Northeast region contingent. MassWildlife’s State Herpetologist Mike Jones served as Meeting Host.
The three-day meeting, which included five field trips to significant natural sites in the Connecticut River Valley, was organized into sections highlighting the different specializations of NEPARC members. Topics ranged from conservation planning for turtles and snakes to combating diseases within amphibian and reptile populations to research updates on salamanders and frogs.
On the day prior to the start of the annual NEPARC meeting, partners based in Massachusetts convened for an inaugural MassPARC meeting. Individuals focusing on amphibian and reptile conservation within Massachusetts took part in this day-long meeting also coordinated by MassWildlife. MassPARC provided a forum for individuals from across the Commonwealth to share their work on reptile and amphibian conservation. The meeting was arranged in four sections that included updates on major conservation and research projects and studies of at-risk species. The afternoon included updates from major programs run by nonprofits and schools. MassPARC closed with a breakout session where participants discussed conservation and collaboration priorities and future directions for the MassPARC group. Discussions included challenges for effective conservation of important habitats, proposed collaborative studies, and whether the Massachusetts partners should convene again. It seemed to be a unanimous decision that MassPARC could be a helpful framework for partners to continue to exchange ideas. MassWildlife looks forward to continuing its involvement with MassPARC and NEPARC in the future.
Thank you to all of the sponsors for making these events happen! A special thank you goes to Zoo New England and the American Turtle Observatory in particular for their support.