N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

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Bryan Hamilton
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N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Bryan Hamilton » March 7th, 2015, 10:24 am

Save the date!

N.A.F.H.A. Rocky Mountain Chapter Field Trip 2015!

Visit the beautiful Newberry Mountains and Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA) just outside Laughlin, NV, and 2 hours from fabulous Las Vegas!

April 24-26 2015 !

The trip goals include documenting as many species as possible for the database and collecting blood from Gila monsters and rattlesnakes. Survey will include road cruising, hiking transects and listening for calling amphibians. The trip will be led by Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), herpetologist Jason Jones and longtime resident experts, Bob McKeever and Seth Cohen.

Note that collecting in LMNRA will only be temporary for data and genetic voucher collection under NDOW research permits. This tri-state area also includes nearby areas in AZ and CA. Licensing in each of these states is required separately for any activity outside of LMNRA.
For those attending, you will be required to sign up as a LMNRA volunteer (will be conducted on site), and it is highly recommended that you sign up as an NDOW volunteer (then you can have more opportunities handling and salvaging selected critters!). Additionally time spent on the survey can be counted towards volunteer hours (e.g., resumes, CVs, community service [yikes!]). Finally, mileage on your vehicle may also be considered volunteer and may give you upwards of a $0.56 per mile deduction when doing your federal taxes…Consult with our volunteer coordinator for more info (Tammie Frost below) on this event and/or your tax guru for claiming mileage.

To register as an NDOW volunteer:
http://www.ndow.org/Education/Volunteer/Wildlife/ scroll down to the bottom (“Q: How do I become a Volunteer”) and click on the “Volunteer” hyperlink to start the volunteer application process. Alternatively go to "Volunteer opportunities, "scroll down to "Herp Survey" (note: as of this post date the survey is being added to the website).

If you need additional info contact:
Jason L. Jones
702-486-5127 ext. 3718
[email protected]

If you need help registering contact:
Tammie Frost
702-486-5127 ext. 3850
[email protected]

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Bryan Hamilton » March 7th, 2015, 10:36 am

Newbury Mountain Chuckwallas are everywhere
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Leopard Lizard
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Ringneck Snake
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This is one of the only areas Nevada to find Western Diamond-backed rattlesnakes
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Christmas tree pass is incredibly diverse in flora and fauna
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Target species!
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amphibian habitat
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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Bryan Hamilton » March 7th, 2015, 10:37 am

Here is the species list. Bob McKeever put this together.

Reptile species reported to date from the Newberry Mts & immediate vicinity
Tortoise, Mojave Desert Gopherus agassizii
Banded Gecko, Western Coleonyx variegatus
Chuckwalla, Common Sauromalus ater
Collared Lizard, Great Basin Crotaphytus bicinctores
Gila Monster, Banded Heloderma suspectum cinctum
Horned Lizard, Southern Desert Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum
Iguana, Northern Desert Dipsosaurus d. dorsalis
Leopard Lizard, Long-nosed Gambelia wislizenii
Ring-necked Snake, Regal Diadophis punctatus regalis
Side-blotched Lizard, Western Uta stansburiana elegans
Skink, Western Red-tailed Plestiodon gilberti rubricaudatus
Spiny Lizard, Yellow-backed Sceloporus uniformis
Tree Lizard, Colorado River Urosaurus ornatus symmetricus
Whiptail, Great Basin Aspidoscelis t. tigris
Zebra-tailed Lizard, Western Callisaurus draconoides rhodostictus
Boa, Northern Three-lined Boa Lichanura orcutti
Coachwhip, Red Coluber flagellum piceus
Glossy Snake Arizona elegans
Gopher Snake, Great Basin Pituophis catenifer deserticola
King Snake, California Lampropeltis californiae
Long-nosed Snake Rhinocheilus lecontei
Lyre Snake, Sonoran Trimorphodon lambda
Patch-nosed Snake, Mojave Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis
Rattlesnake, Western Diamondback Crotalus atrox
Rattlesnake, Southwestern Speckled Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus
Rattlesnake, Northern Mojave Crotalus s. scutulatus
Sidewinder, Mojave Desert Crotalus c. cerastes

Others, not yet reported, may occur in these mountains. The Newberry Mts are an island of Great Basin Conifer Woodland surrounded on all sides by Mojave Desert Scrub and a thorough herp survey has not yet been conducted. There are several species not yet reported that are relatively common nearby.

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Jeremy Westerman » March 9th, 2015, 9:44 pm

I would love to go but ironically I have those exact same dates off work for a different trip to Cedar Mesa I have been planning. Good luck to us both I guess...would have been great to see old friends.

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Rothdigga » March 11th, 2015, 12:34 pm

I'll be in Portland or I totally would attend this thing. No joke, I'll probably be there the week before or week after as I tend to hit that range quite a bit during the year. Fun mountains to explore. Good luck, can't wait for the photos to see what you guys find. I'm sure with a lot of people it'll be pretty good.

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AndyO'Connor
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by AndyO'Connor » March 11th, 2015, 2:46 pm

That should be a good time. I hope you find your targets! I've tried that area 4 times now for a gila and have only found tracks in a couple of spots. The regals there are awesome, no neck ring, or a faint/broken one (the two I've seen...). Good luck everyone, I wish I could make it.

s_stocking
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by s_stocking » March 11th, 2015, 6:47 pm

Hey Bob, I think you missed 1 confirmed on your species list for the area- Chionactis occipitalis. :)

Brian Eagar
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Brian Eagar » March 12th, 2015, 4:15 pm

That looks like a really fun place to explore. I wish I could make it.
Who is going to find the next Rosy boa there.

Paul Lynum
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Paul Lynum » April 4th, 2015, 10:54 pm

How about trying for the less known or unknown? Boas need more work and some of us think pyros are there as well.

PL

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 5th, 2015, 12:51 pm

Hi Paul,

We are having a field trip at a less known place later in the spring. Its so unknown we don't even know where it is yet..... Stay tuned.

Coordinating these trips is always tricky, trips closer to town are always better attended. Your point is well taken though. Do you have any areas in mind?

Paul Lynum
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Paul Lynum » April 5th, 2015, 6:06 pm

The radio tower area is a good start and then onto "The Mountain". May take some serious hiking.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 5th, 2015, 6:51 pm

The serious hiking can be another problem, not everyone is in good enough shape to herp some of these areas. It might be possible to split into groups and keep one group close to the vehicles and have another group hike. Thanks for the recommendation.

Our second field trip will be somewhere out in the West Desert of Millard County Utah. Focused on documenting pyros from unknown mountain ranges. You've been in that country and know how far it is from anywhere. And the herp diversity is low so lots of snakeless days, which makes it hard to keep motivation and spirits up.

I think we'd like to do something to find triangulum in some more areas of the Great Basin. I know, you know, how tough that is....

Paul Lynum
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Paul Lynum » April 5th, 2015, 7:17 pm

To find the new stuff (If it's there or hard to find but there) it takes more than road side helping. As you know that is why so much in those obscure NV locales not much is found. Results take hard work as you know.

PL

s_stocking
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by s_stocking » April 6th, 2015, 6:55 pm

Greetings Everyone-
Unfortunately Bob McKeever won’t be able to make this trip to the Newberry Mtns at the end of the month. We wish him well and a speedy road to recovery so he can join us in the field later in the year. I’m filling in with some of the administrative tasks as we approach execution day:
Volunteers: I am asking all NAFHA members who plan to attend to RSVP with me via PM (s_stocking). I am working with Jason Jones/NDOW to put together a list of volunteers for the work inside LMNRA. As stated previously, you need to be on the official volunteer list to temporarily handle herps while in the park during this event.
Lodging: This weekend (24-26 April) is also River Run, Laughlin’s huge annual Biker event. Hotels are running $170/night or more, if reservations are even available at this point. Needles, CA is about 30 miles south and has a few hotels. There are camping facilities with water/electrical hookups at Katherine Landing on the AZ side of Lake Mohave. This is about a 15 minute commute from the survey areas in the Newberrys. Most of us Vegas locals are planning on camping in the Newberry’s. All sites on the Nevada side of the lake are primitive, no water or toilet facilities, so plan on bringing in plenty of water and packing out all trash. We will provide the “base camp” site location prior to 23 April.
I’ve been down to the area twice in the last few weeks- lizards are out, and I’ve seen C. atrox, Salvadora hexalepis, and Pituophis, plus some tourists showed me pics of a Gila Monster in one of the popular hiking spots. The critters are moving, should be a great event!

Steve

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by s_stocking » April 29th, 2015, 5:13 pm

Congratulations to everyone who attended, the event was a tremendous success! The Christmas Tree Pass Blitz resulted in at least 19 volunteers + 2 Arizona Game & Fish herpetologists + 1 Nevada Dept of Wildlife Herpetologist= 22+ participants in total. Ages ranged from about 6 to 60+. It sounds like we generated >600 hours of volunteer effort with people traveling over 1,200 miles (1 attended from the SE Chapter/Florida!) to attend the three day event. If you attended and haven't logged your hours online as an NDOW volunteer, be sure to do so. You get to write the mileage off on your taxes.

In total (drum roll), we found 23 spp. of reptiles (Nevada Species of Conservation Priority are asterisked "*") in the area!

Species
tiger whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris)
zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides )
red racer (Coluber flagellum piceus)
western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
southwestern speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus)
northern Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus)
California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
Great Basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola)
long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)
Mojave patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis)
yellow-backed spiny lizard (Sceloporus uniformis )
variable groundsnake (Sonora semiannulata semiannulata)
side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana)
Mojave shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis occipitalis occipitalis)*
western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus variegatus)*
Mojave Desert sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cerastes)*
regal ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)*
northern desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis dorsalis)
long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)*
desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)*
banded Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum)*
common chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)*

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by ThomWild » April 29th, 2015, 5:59 pm

It was an awesome trip! It was fun to meet up with those I knew and an absolute joy and pleasure meeting so many amazing herpers for the first time! I am bummed I had to bail early. Steve (or anyone else that stayed through Sun), did the weather clear for Sunday herping? Awesome job everyone!

-Thomas Wilder

s_stocking
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by s_stocking » April 29th, 2015, 8:30 pm

Sunday was sunny but windy and cool- the snakes were moving- we saw red racers, a patch-nosed, an atrox and a mitchelli. Others saw these plus gopher snakes, and Jason saw a desert tortoise. Very few diurnal lizards were moving- we saw a few whiptails and lots of Uta's...

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Fieldherper
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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Fieldherper » May 1st, 2015, 11:44 am

No rosy boas?

Was the ringneck seen on the crawl?


Overall an excellent list of species seen!


FH

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by s_stocking » May 1st, 2015, 8:59 pm

No Rosy's , despite multiple vehicle passes over the pass, both night and day. Also numerous people hiked rocky hillsides at middle/upper elevations...

Both the Diadophis and Sonora were on the crawl when found. Only the Chionactis, kingsnake, a couple long-nosed, and Banded geckos were found road cruising at night. Everything else was either diurnal road cruising or hiking.

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Neil M » May 2nd, 2015, 4:45 pm

Awesome job, I hopefully will be able to make future events! Any photos?

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by Calfirecap » May 4th, 2015, 7:40 am

I was fortunate enough to attend this outstanding event and my thanks go out to Jason and Steve for organizing this event. I'm sure there were others involved, but I just don't know who to give the credit to. It was a great opportunity to herp a new location, meet new people, and reunite with others from previous NAFHA trips. Despite the weather, there was a great variety of herps seen and documented.
My first herp of the event was this Coachwhip that I spotted on the way in on Friday:
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Of course what we all came to see and hoped to find were these guys. Two were found the first day and I suspect more would have been seen had it been warmer.
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It's not every day you get to participate is this kind of field work:
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Here's a nice Gophersnake we found stretched out across the road before the rains:
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As would be expected Utas were the most prevalent lizards seen:
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Surprising to me was seeing more Night Lizards than Spineys:
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Several Mojave Patchnose Snakes were encountered:
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The only amphibians that I saw were Red-spotted Toads. Very different than from where I'm from.
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Grown men catching Lizards while the kids watched:
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NEVER reach into Brian's ice chest without checking first:
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And finely some habitat shots:
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Many thanks to all who came and helped to make this a successful and memorable event.

Lawrence

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Re: N.A.F.H.A. Field Trip 2015!

Post by MarcLinsalata » May 8th, 2015, 2:41 pm

That area has the nicest looking gophers anywhere...........

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