VHS Conservation

Conservation Committee Tenets | Past Conservation Committee Reports
Conservation Resources | Duck Stamps!?

 

Dear VHS Members and Visitors,

The Conservation Committee is involved with identifying and implementing various ideas and programs that support conservation of our native wild herpetofauna. Please take a few moments to read through the VHS tenets that describe the focus of the conservation efforts.  Innovation and imagination are the hallmarks of such efforts.  Several projects are underway but we can still use your help.  Please consider joining the committee & conveying your ideas.

 

Tim Christensen

Chairman of the VHS Conservation Committee

 

Report from the Conservation Committee
May 20, 2011
VHS Business Meeting

1.  The Conservation Committee welcomes new members Robert Harris and Ryan Dumas.  The committee now consists of five members.  
    
2.  The Conservation Committee presents the following tasks and statuses:

     a.  “Conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians in Virginia” presentation. 

          (1)  Committee members conducted two training workshops for Virginia Master Naturalists (VMN) to deliver the standard presentation.  The workshop is intended as a Train the Trainer forum so that VMNs can use the presentation to various audiences to help promote conservation of reptiles and amphibians across Virginia.  The first workshop was held on September 4, 2010 at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Region 1 Office at Charles City.  The workshop was conducted by Tim Christensen and Susan Watson with 15 VMNs representing at least 6 VMN Chapters from around the state.  A second workshop was conducted by Tim Christensen on November 6, 2010 at the Human Services Building in Williamsburg with approximately 45 participants.  We are working on holding more workshops. 

          (2)  As of May 2011, VMNs conducted five presentations at the following forums: 

(a)   Adult Lifelong Learning Program at the Eastern Shore Community College
       in Melfa.
   (b)  VMN Riverine Chapter (Hanover County and Richmond Metro area).
   (c)  Menokin Plantation in Warsaw.
               (d)  General public on 2 separate occasions in Accomacc and Nassawadox.

Collectively, these presentations were made for 73 individuals.  Additional presentations are planned.  Some portions of the conservation presentation needs to be updated.   

     b.  An opportunity to teach a course entitled “Reptiles and Amphibians of Southeast Virginia” with the Christopher  Wren Association (CWA) at the College of William and Mary was initiated.  The objective is to include a focus on conservation issues.  A program of instruction is under development, and the course will take place in October 2012 timeframe.    

3.  Other actions.

     a.   Federal Duck Stamp Promotion.  The VHS website contains information about Duck Stamps and the committee would like to expand this.  Recently, a new VHS member who also works for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service addressed the idea.  We would like to solicit ideas on promoting this more.  While purchasing Duck Stamps does not sole or specifically support Virginia, it does constitute a way to press for habitat preservation/restoration.  The committee has discussed having a contest for the top three purchases of Duck Stamps but details need to be worked out.  We could possibly post names of members who purchase them on the website.  Additionally, it is proposed to have a guest speaker at the fall meeting discuss what Duck Stamp sales have done for habitat in Virginia.  Details are being worked out. 

     b.  Herp Stamp.  We would like to revisit the “Herp Stamp” idea.  Several photo options had been developed a couple of years ago that could be used sold for the purpose of raising funds for specific conservation projects.  The challenge now is to (1) re-look at designing a “stamp”, (2) means of offering for sale and (3) identifying projects the funds would support.

    c.  Threats to Herpetofauna Poster.  The Committee proposed designing charts/posters that illustrate threats to herpetofauna. The suggestion is to have separate materials for anurans or amphibians as one group and one for turtles & snakes or reptiles as another group.  This could potentially be made available for sale through the VHS Store, provided to schools, etc.  Proceeds could go towards specific conservation-related projects.  No further action has taken place since its proposal; however, due to time but will be revisited. 

4.  Conservation Key articles for Newsletters.  The committee solicits feedback from the Board on the Conservation Key articles.  Additionally, we encourage any member to submit a conservation-related article for future Newsletters.  We should continue soliciting guest authors from outside VHS as we did with the terrapin and sea turtle articles.    
    
5.  The Committee continues to solicit more members.
 

Point of contact:

Tim Christensen
757-878-4231 (w)
757-874-8098 (h)
757-880-6111 ©  
mtnc066@msn.com

 

 


Report from the Conservation Committee
May 21, 2010
VHS Business Meeting

1.  The Conservation Committee current includes the following members:  Tim Christensen, David McCarthy and Todd Fredericksen.   
    
2.  The Conservation Committee presents the following tasks and statuses:

     a.  “Conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians in Virginia” presentation. 

          (1)  Presentation is finished. 

          (2)  Committee members finishing the design for a 4-hour workshop intended for and offered to certified Virginia Master Naturalists (VMNs).  The workshop is intended as a Train the Trainer forum so that VMNs can use the presentation to various audiences to help promote conservation of reptiles and amphibians across Virginia.  The final draft of the workshop materials were forwarded to several VHS members for feedback.  Once the feedback is incorporated, the materials will be updated.  The objective was set for May 19th.  Four workshops are being scheduled for the August-September timeframe.  Currently, we are looking at holding these at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve (Loudon County), Sweet Briar College, Booker T Washington National Monument and VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Regional 1 office in Charles City.   This project is the committee’s priority until completed in September.

     b.  An opportunity to teach a course entitled “Reptiles and Amphibians of Southeast Virginia” with the Christopher  Wren Association (CWA) was initiated.  The objective was to include a focus on conservation issues.  Originally, the course was to run in October 2010; however, a 12-month jury duty requirement arose and commitment could not be made.  This project will be revisited later possibly for 2011. 

3.  Other actions.

     a.   Federal Duck Stamp Promotion.  This was promoted previously and we have information about it on the website.  We would like to solicit ideas on promoting this more.  One opportunity would be to obtain an information board from US Fish & Wildlife Service and/or Ducks Unlimited and post at the fall meetings and other events.  Remember, ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps goes toward purchase or lease of wetlands within the National Wildlife Refuge System-supports efforts towards habitat for herps.       

     b.  Herp Stamp.  Now that we have achieved nonprofit status, we should revisit the “Herp Stamp” idea.  Several photo options had been developed a couple of years ago that could be used sold for the purpose of raising funds for specific conservation projects.  The challenge now is to (1) re-look at designing a “stamp”, (2) means of offering for sale and (3) identifying projects the funds would support.

    c.  Threats to Herpetofauna Poster.  The Committee proposed designing charts/posters that illustrate threats to herpetofauna. The suggestion is to have separate materials for anurans or amphibians as one group and one for turtles & snakes or reptiles as another group.  This could potentially be made available for sale through the VHS Store, provided to schools, etc.  Proceeds could go towards specific conservation-related projects.  No further action has taken place since its proposal; however, due to time but will be revisited once the VMN workshops are completed. 

     d.  Kory and myself will be discussing conservation and related opportunities to work with College of Wm and Mary/VIMS concerning diamond-back terrapins.  A meeting will be set up in the June timeframe. 

4.  The Committee continues to solicit more members.
 

Point of contact:

Tim Christensen
757-878-4152 (w)
757-874-8098 (h)
757-880-6111 ©
mtnc066@msn.com

Conservation Committee Archives

10-24-09 Conservation Committee Report

05-16-08 Conservation Committee Report

07-06-07 Conservation Committee Report

10-20-07 Conservation Committee Report

 

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