Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.
This year the Virginia Herpetological Society will hold it annual spring survey meeting and survey in conjunction with Bioblitz at Newport News Park in southeastern Virginia on May 19th - 21st, 2017.
We will have nearly 7,000 acres of forested land spread out among two reservoirs to search for and document amphibians and reptiles. Some areas have unique vernal pools formed from sinkholes and are part of the Grafton Ponds Natural Area Preserve.
The VHS has particular goals for this survey. The state threatened Barking Treefrog has many historical observations in the area, but none in the last decade or more.
The state threatened Mabee's Salamander is relatively abundant within the Grafton Ponds complex. It is important to document if the VHS finds Mabee's in a unique habitat or has expanded their range.
Copperheads were first observed at Newport News Park in 2016, even after decades of documenting other herps. There is reason to believe the copperheads are breeding, so determining just how abundant they are would be helpful to park management.
If you are interested in attending this event please register here https://goo.gl/forms/l8aFBJkGyRWDj7bz2
Information on onsite camping, off-site lodging, and meeting times and locations can be found below.
If you have questions or concerns please contact:
Newport News Campground is 5 minutes away from BioBlitz Basecamp! The campground entrance is a very short drive down Jefferson Avenue from the park's main entrance. We have reserved 15 campsites close to each other, the back half of Loop C, sites C75-C90, for VHS members. Campsite Map here, bottom left: http://www.nnparks.com/nnparkmap.pdf
These Loop C sites are nice because they're a bit further in, so less traffic going by. It is easy walking distance to restrooms, near a nice playground, and all these sites have electricity & water. The entrance to the 5-mile loop mountain bike trail is also close by (trail is wide and easy, not technical, some hills, mostly packed soil although some spots feature pea gravel or sand).
These sites will be $36 per night. (That includes the tax) You must pay for one night in advance by Visa or Mastercard when you call to make your reservation. You may cancel up to 2 days in advance and still receive a full refund. Maximum 5 people per site. If you bring an RV, you may also have a tent on site. More info here: http://www.nnparks.com/parks_nn.php
Campers who want a reserved site must call before the end of March to make their reservation. Tell them your site is reserved by the Virginia Herpetological Society.
Call: (757) 888-3333 • 1-800-203-8322
Other campgrounds are within 25 minutes of the park, including:
The 12th annual HerpBlitz will be held at Hidden Valley Wildlife Management Area (https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wma/hidden-valley/) in Washington County on Saturday June 10th and Sunday June 11th. This wildlife management area is comprised of more than 6,400 acres and hosts a large high mountain lake, forested mountain ridges, and many mountain streams. Hidden Valley Wildlife Management area is remote and rugged so all herpers with an adventurous spirit are welcome to attend. All coordination of this survey will be done through Jason Gibson (email@example.com). If you are interested in attending this survey please contact Jason and he will give all up-to-date details about where and when to meet on Saturday and Sunday.