McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

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Biker Dave
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McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 6th, 2010, 6:53 pm

Greetings All

We have been in talks with the folks who run the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. http://www.mcdowellsonoran.org/
They are in desperate need of a herp survey of their property so Terry (ratsnakehaven) and I (Biker Dave) have been arranging for our chapter of NAFHA to be the ones to complete this survey. The preserve is located in the McDowell Mountains just to the east of Scottsdale AZ close to a lot of food and lodging in all price ranges.

We will need assistance from the chapter membership to get this survey done. It will be a long term project - which will hopefully lead to some new information that the MSC can use to their benefit. The plus side for our chapter is we can herp the MSC !!! (No collecting allowed of course.)

As we finalize the plan between our chapter and the MSC we will set up a date to begin the survey.

More info to follow as plans develop.

Dave Weber
AZ Chapter Conservation Officer

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » July 6th, 2010, 8:18 pm

Dave, we probably should set up our first herping trip there for sometime in the monsoon season, eh? :thumb:

Terry

Aaron Mills
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Aaron Mills » July 6th, 2010, 9:04 pm

I know that Kris (azatrox) and his friend spent a ton of time in the McDowell Mountains. The area has been pretty well surveyed.

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » July 6th, 2010, 9:27 pm

We're going to share the data with management there, so anything we can learn will help them and us. Let us know what herps you've all seen there so we know what to expect. Meanwhile we get to have some fun time herping. I'm especially looking forward to next spring...

PS: We may do some public presentations too and some training sessions for their helpers.

TC

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 7th, 2010, 6:37 pm

From what the Executive Director told us, there has been no official survey done of the preserve ever.

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Fundad
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Fundad » July 8th, 2010, 6:44 am

Outstanding... :beer: :beer:

Rack One for the Arizona Chapter..

Fundad

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by MSC ED » July 8th, 2010, 8:26 am

We are really looking forward to this project too! :D Ruthie

There are two articles in a recent edition of Science that some of you may be interested in reading as they could be relevant to this project. They can both be found on http://www.sciencemag.com. They are:

Are Lizards Toast?
Raymond B. Huey,1 Jonathan B. Losos,2 Craig Moritz3
Lizards should be relatively invulnerable to warming: They are very good at evading thermal stress, tolerate high body temperatures, and resist water loss. Nevertheless, on page 894 of this issue, Sinervo et al. (1) document extinctions of lizard populations on five continents and argue that global warming is responsible. They use a simple biological model, validated against observed extinctions, to predict that warming will drive almost 40% of all global lizard populations extinct by 2080. If their prediction is even close to correct, lizards may be "the new amphibians" (2) in a race toward extinction.

and

Erosion of Lizard Diversity by Climate Change and Altered Thermal Niches
Barry Sinervo, et. al.
It is predicted that climate change will cause species extinctions and distributional shifts in coming decades, but data to validate these predictions are relatively scarce. Here, we compare recent and historical surveys for 48 Mexican lizard species at 200 sites. Since 1975, 12% of local populations have gone extinct. We verified physiological models of extinction risk with observed local extinctions and extended projections worldwide. Since 1975, we estimate that 4% of local populations have gone extinct worldwide, but by 2080 local extinctions are projected to reach 39% worldwide, and species extinctions may reach 20%. Global extinction projections were validated with local extinctions observed from 1975 to 2009 for regional biotas on four other continents, suggesting that lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions caused by climate change.

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Fundad » July 8th, 2010, 9:29 am

Are Lizards Toast?
Raymond B. Huey,1 Jonathan B. Losos,2 Craig Moritz3
Lizards should be relatively invulnerable to warming: They are very good at evading thermal stress, tolerate high body temperatures, and resist water loss. Nevertheless, on page 894 of this issue, Sinervo et al. (1) document extinctions of lizard populations on five continents and argue that global warming is responsible. They use a simple biological model, validated against observed extinctions, to predict that warming will drive almost 40% of all global lizard populations extinct by 2080. If their prediction is even close to correct, lizards may be "the new amphibians" (2) in a race toward extinction.

and

Erosion of Lizard Diversity by Climate Change and Altered Thermal Niches
Barry Sinervo, et. al.
It is predicted that climate change will cause species extinctions and distributional shifts in coming decades, but data to validate these predictions are relatively scarce. Here, we compare recent and historical surveys for 48 Mexican lizard species at 200 sites. Since 1975, 12% of local populations have gone extinct. We verified physiological models of extinction risk with observed local extinctions and extended projections worldwide. Since 1975, we estimate that 4% of local populations have gone extinct worldwide, but by 2080 local extinctions are projected to reach 39% worldwide, and species extinctions may reach 20%. Global extinction projections were validated with local extinctions observed from 1975 to 2009 for regional biotas on four other continents, suggesting that lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions caused by climate change.


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Why didn't these species go extinct during the last warm up period 40,000 years ago, and the one before that 140,000 years ago?

Fundad

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » July 8th, 2010, 3:45 pm

It might be because it's happening so much faster, rather than over a longer period of time... :roll:

TC

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 8th, 2010, 7:57 pm

Hey All

Just so everyone is aware, Ruthie (MSC ED) is the Executive Director of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.

Welcome aboard Ruthie!

Dave Weber

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Fundad » July 9th, 2010, 8:41 am

It might be because it's happening so much faster, rather than over a longer period of time... :roll:

TC

:roll: :roll: Ah, no Temps rose extremely fast at the followed by temps that cooled extremely fast, during the Ice Ages.. A spike temps UP and DOWN, interspaced by gradual cooling and gradual rising, with extremely fast rise at the end, until the system reverses.

Fundad

in the last million years we have had 10 Ice ages..

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » July 9th, 2010, 9:25 pm

I believe we're still recovering from the last ice age. There are certain trees and herp species that haven't made it to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, yet. Also, the land is rising from having all that ice on top of it for so long. If things change too fast, how could the herps move from one area of the country to another?

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 10th, 2010, 11:23 am

Greetings Everyone....

Not to be a downer on the discussion but this is supposed to be about the MSC project, not global warming theory. Please move your global warming discussion to another thread.

Thank you

Dave Weber

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Steve Bledsoe » July 11th, 2010, 11:05 am

Great news that the Arizona Chapter has been invited to help out with the MSC Project. This is exactly what the NAFHA and HERP Database were designed for.

When you complete your first segment of the survey, please write up a report about it and we will get it posted on the NAFHA Website. We can expand it and build upon the report as you guys complete each segment of your survey. Lots of photos are always good too.

If you think you might need some man-power to help in the field, you could make an announcement on the other forums. You know how the rest of us love to herp in your territory!

Great work, Dave and Terry, in getting this going.

Steve

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Kent VanSooy » July 12th, 2010, 7:54 am

Bravo gents! Great stuff.

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 12th, 2010, 8:21 am

Steve, Kent

Thanks for the words of encouragement. We wil definitely be posting a call for volunteers when we get our first date set!

It may also be a possibility that we will publish in the new Herp Nation magazine as the survey transpires (?)

Dave Weber
AZ Chapter Conservation Officer

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List of herps at MSC...

Post by ratsnakehaven » July 15th, 2010, 4:41 pm

Thanks, guys!

Here's the list of herps on the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy site:

1. Desert tortoise
2. Diamondback rattlesnake
3. Mojave rattlesnake
4. Blacktail rattlesnake
5. Speckled rattlesnake
6. Coral snake
7. Western lyre snake
8. Western night snake
9. Western blackhead snake
10. Sonoran whipsnake
11. Western coachwhip
12. Leafnose snake
13. Sonoran gopher snake
14. Ground snake
15. Patchnose snake
16. Desert kingsnake
17. Western blind snake
18. AZ glossy snake
19. Clark's spiny lizard
20. Desert spiny lizard
21. Greater earless lizard
22. Regal horned lizard
23. AZ night lizard
24. Gila spotted whiptail
25. Western whiptail
26. Gila monster
27. Chuckwalla
28. Banded gecko
29. Collared lizard
30. Fence lizard
31. Desert iguana
32. Zebra-tailed lizard
33. Side-blotched lizard
34. Leopard lizard
35. Couch's spadefoot
36. Great Plains toad
37. Red-spotted toad
38. Woodhouse's toad
39. Sonoran Desert toad
40. Canyon treefrog

Forty herps to start with is pretty darn good. We'll have a really hard time trying to find them all. Some areas I think where we can add to the list is with some herps that MIGHT be missing, such as the regal ringneck snake, the sand snake, some kind of shovel-nose snake, the sidewinder, other earless lizards, the tree lizard, or other spadefoot toads. Also, we might be able to clarify some herps, such as confirming the type of patchnose snake, the type of collared lizard, and the type of fence lizard, etc.

Other areas we might be able to help with will include identifying different types of habitat; areas certain herps occur in; and possibly doing a program which will help educate MSC helpers and/or the public. We have also been asked to list species of birds we recognize and species of plants which haven't been recognized, yet. Because I'm no expert on the plants of the Sonoran Desert, I'll be taking lots of photos of plant species, especially wildflowers, and trying to i.d. them later from the pics. Hopefully this will help. Actually having a number of workers, when we get dates set, will help, since we'd be able to cover more ground and have more eyes for observation.

Sounds like it could be an interesting and beneficial project to all parties... 8-)

Terry

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 18th, 2010, 10:45 am

Greetings All

I met with our contact at MSC yesterday morning. The next step we have to complete before we can obtain our "permit" to begin the study on the preserve is the completion of an official proposal of what our plan for the study is, what we hope to accomplish, blah blah...

After this is complete, it could be as much as a month before we get the "permit". This permit will allow us to go "off trail", be in the preserve at night (it is usually closed at night), etc.

Please be patient as we complete the steps necessary to get this project started. After all, the preserve is part of the City of Scottsdale and as we all know, the wheels of government turn slow (usually).


When the project begins, we will need a few volunteers to assist. The preserve will also have their people helping us (tagging along, learning proper herping techniques, data collection, etc) Obviously no personal collecting will permitted. We will need to be sure we maintain the integrity of the preserve by practicing excellent herping ethics.

Stay tuned for more news as it becomes available.

Thanks

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 29th, 2010, 10:41 pm

OK Gang...

Our proposal has been submitted. Now we wait for the approval.

If anyone wants a copy of the proposal "pm" me with your regular email addy and I will send it to you.

Dave Weber
AZ Chapter
Conservation Officer

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Brendan
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Brendan » July 30th, 2010, 12:34 pm

One thing they need to omit from that list of reptiles in the McDowells is mitchelli. There are only tigris in that range unless there has been some recent range extension that I was unaware of. They can replace it with variable sand snake which was not listed to there are still 40. :)

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » July 31st, 2010, 2:06 pm

We'll have to wait for ratsnakehaven to do that edit.

Although it would be a nice range extension!

Thanks Brendan for the update.

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » August 6th, 2010, 6:20 pm

Hi, guys. Back from MI... :crazyeyes:

I think we'll have to refer those proposals to the Conservancy, if I'm not mistaken.

Terry

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Richard Legere » August 8th, 2010, 1:01 pm

Brendan wrote:One thing they need to omit from that list of reptiles in the McDowells is mitchelli. There are only tigris in that range unless there has been some recent range extension that I was unaware of. They can replace it with variable sand snake which was not listed to there are still 40. :)
I was about to note the same thing Brendan, but you beat me to it. I had asked you about mitchelli in the McDowells a few years ago, and was surprised to find that they do not occur there. They must be hesitant to try crossing the 101 from Paradise Vally :lol: .

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by azatrox » August 12th, 2010, 11:40 pm

I'm a bit late to the party, but I can shed some light on the McDowells....

A few years ago (2007) both myself and a close friend took part in an ASU study monitoring Heloderm activity patterns in the McDowells. All summer long, 2-3 times a week we'd hike the McDowells at night. We saw a TON of wildlife. However, I NEVER saw mitchelli...they just don't make it there.

-Kris

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » August 13th, 2010, 10:37 am

Kris

Do you know if a paper was done on the study and if so, do you have a link or a copy we could use?

Thanks

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by azatrox » August 13th, 2010, 8:45 pm

Dave,

I don't know about the paper....I do know that Dr. Dale DeNardo at ASU was the supervisor for the study, so you may want to contact him for further info.

-Kris

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » August 14th, 2010, 1:04 pm

Kris

Thanks for the info.

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » August 19th, 2010, 9:50 pm

UPDATE

Hopefully we will here in the next day or two the status of our request to do a study in the Preserve.

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » August 20th, 2010, 11:03 pm

Happy Weekend everyone....

The City of Scottsdale is requesting that I tweak the proposal some more before approval. So please be patient!!!

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » September 2nd, 2010, 7:05 pm

Still waiting to hear from the City of Scottsdale.....

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » October 5th, 2010, 7:41 pm

October 5, 2010

We are still awaiting approval from the City of Scottsdale.

Thank you all for your patience!

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » November 23rd, 2010, 8:53 pm

Hey All

The City of Scottsdale had some questions they needed answered before they could issue a one year preliminary permit for this survey.

They asked about such things as specific areas, duration of survey,etc.

Hopefully we will find out soon if we can proceed.

Fingers crossed everyone!

Dave Weber

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » November 23rd, 2010, 10:00 pm

Thanks for sticking with it, Dave... :beer:

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » November 25th, 2010, 9:11 am

Patience is a virtue ...plus this may also help us grow our chapter.

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 19th, 2011, 10:23 pm

The research leadership team will meet at the Preserve Gateway on Friday, 28 January. We expect the meeting to run 1.5 to two hours in length. An agenda is being developed and will be sent to you prior to the meeting but the main goal is to go over plans, near and long term, for the baseline flora and fauna documentation within the Preserve.
I received an email today regarding a planning meeting for the large scale flora and fauna survey which we will assist in at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

I will post updates for this as I get them.

Dave Weber

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 19th, 2011, 10:28 pm

Oh yeah... I guess I forgot to update the latest....

Apparently the Conservancy has received a grant to begin a full scale survey of all plant and animal life on the Preserve. It will be a multi agency/organization survey over a period of (I think) about two years . Groups will inlude ASU, AZGFD, NAFHA, and others. We will be responsible for the Reptile and Amphibian portion of the survey.

When this finally takes place, this could be a HUGE feather in the cap of the AZ Chapter.

Dave Weber

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 19th, 2011, 10:32 pm

Here is a copy of the written proposal/plan for this 3 YEAR full survey I spoke of earlier.
If you read far enough down, NAFHA is specifically named. There was a timeline chart for the project and a flow chart establishing whom answered to whom, but unfortunatley I haven't figured out how to transfer them yet.

Dave Weber

Baseline Flora and Fauna of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Proposal for Research Permit from the City of Scottsdale by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

We are applying for a permit to cover research as described below over a period of three years to conduct a baseline assessment of the flora (plant) and fauna (animal) environments within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (Preserve).

Overview
The baseline assessment will allow us to document and measure the impact of our conservation protection and restoration programs. We will do this work as a function of the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute (MSFI), an on-going monitoring center that examines the health and scope of the Preserve’s living (plant, animal and insect) and non-living (rocks, water cycle) components.

Flora and fauna counts serve as the biological barometer of ecosystem health, indicating changes in habitat quality and biological diversity. A basic principle of ecology is that biological systems with greater species diversity (more species and larger numbers of individuals per species) are more stable and productive, thus healthier.

Through our strategic planning process, the baseline assessment and the establishment of the MSFI have been identified as a critical element of fulfilling our mission. Both strategies directly tie to our strategic goal of sustaining the ecological integrity of the Preserve through active programs of responsible stewardship.

This project will enhance our ability to fulfill our mission by giving us the tools we need to assess the impact of our conservation methods and monitor for negative impacts/trends before any damage becomes irreversible. The baseline assessment results will also give us information to help us educate the community about the significance of the land, plants and wildlife in the Preserve and the importance of how individual’s actions can impact the Preserve.

Measurable Outcomes
1. Enhancement and modification of City of Scottsdale and MSC land management methods will be instituted for the better protection of the plant and animal life within the Preserve.
2. Previously undocumented flora and fauna species will have been identified.
3. The scientific community will receive baseline data on which to build a long-term understanding of the urban impact on the ecological integrity of the natural desert.
4. Volunteers will gain new skills and knowledge and greater appreciation for the Preserve through their participation in the field work.
5. The community will gain a better understanding and appreciation for conservation and preservation.
6. Students will gain scientific experience through their participation in the field work.

Partners:
Arizona State University School of Life Sciences / Herbarium: ASU has committed to facilitate the use of the SEINET database and host space for specimens in their Herbarium. They have committed the time, expertise and leadership of their faculty to serve on the field team for this project, help analyze and publicize the results. The faculty will lead undergraduate students enrolled in the Society for Conservation Biology, Central Arizona chapter to conduct the Flora and Fauna study.

Desert Botanical Garden : DBG has committed to facilitate the use of the SEINET database and host space for specimens in their Herbarium. The DBG will process specimens and catalog them into the Herbarium.

Arizona Game and Fish: The Arizona Game and Fish Department has committed the time of their staff to lead the field team for the Fauna survey and to facilitate the use of the Heritage Data Management System database. They will work with MSC to supervise MSC volunteers and undergraduate students.







Project Description:
Currently, no catalog of flora or fauna within the boundaries of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve exists. Through our informal efforts to date we do know that the Preserve is home to 396 plant species and 118 animal species including mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and insects. A local expert biologist estimates that the Preserve hosts more than 1100 plant species in total, or about 700 species that still need to be identified and documented. We anticipate the same type of discrepancy in animal species that still need to be identified.

The project team will collect and identify plant species and enter their digital image and geo-coordinates into the Southwest Environmental Information Network (SEINET) database, a consortium of 20 natural history specimen databases that are organized and searchable via the web. The specimens will be filed in herbarium cabinets at ASU and DBG. The project leader for the Flora survey is Steve Jones, a long-time volunteer for MSC and biologist. Steve will work with small groups of MSC Stewards to collect the specimens throughout the Preserve. He will not collect a plant unless he finds a substantial number (more than 20) growing together. We will take teams out every other week for 3 months throughout six seasons (see timeline) or for 18 days per calendar year.
To facilitate effective long-term monitoring of the entire 36,400 acre Preserve boundary, we will also install permanent transects along the 82 miles of wildland-urban interface. A transect is a fixed and marked path of data gathering points which will allow MSC to identify any potential impacts that the close proximity to an urban environment might have on the habitat. Areas near trails will be particularly examined for signs of degradation to the topography and vegetation due to recreational impact. We will work with our scientific partners and their students for this portion of the survey.

The Fauna survey, to begin in July, 2011 will be led by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in collaboration with North American Field Herpetology Association. Fauna counts will be collected through various methods: sightings, humane traps, and various detectors. Fauna data will be entered into the Heritage Data Management System at the Arizona Game and Fish Dept.

Overall leadership for each project is outlined below:
MSC is committed to complete the pre-planning of the project, identify plot sampling locations and permanent transect locations; identify and purchase the required equipment and permits; recruit and train volunteers; write and publish articles, and analyze and publish the results of the flora and fauna.

The MSC Conservation Specialist, Lesley Forst, will coordinate the project, and the Research Program team will work collaboratively with her recruiting and training volunteers, supervising the MSC volunteers, acting as a liaison will all collaborative partners and will assist in publishing the results.

MSC’s volunteer Stewards provide critical manpower for the Preserve, extending the capacity of MSC’s staff. MSC Stewards are committed to participate on a weekly rotating basis. Five volunteers at a time will spend 10 hours a week for 12 weeks each semester in the data gathering process.

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » January 20th, 2011, 9:14 am

Dave, that sounds great. Can't wait to get started. One thing that will be nice is to have dates when we're supposed to be active, like meetings and volunteer herp outings, etc, so we can plan to keep those dates open, if possible. We might also want to think about how we will collect data too. Just a couple ideas as I start planning in my head.

You've done well on this project and I appreciate the effort. I hope we can find lots of herps and make it work out well for all involved. It is a major step for the AZ Chapter...

PS: Any chance we could get out there before July? I'd like to see if we could spot one or two of those hard to find herps while they're still active in early spring. Thanks...

Terry :beer:

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Re: List of herps at MSC...

Post by ratsnakehaven » January 20th, 2011, 9:57 am

ratsnakehaven wrote:Thanks, guys!

Here's the list of herps on the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy site:

1. Desert tortoise
2. Diamondback rattlesnake
3. Mojave rattlesnake [not likely]
4. Blacktail rattlesnake
5. Speckled rattlesnake [probably not found here]
6. Coral snake
7. Western lyre snake
8. Western night snake
9. Western blackhead snake
10. Sonoran whipsnake
11. Western coachwhip
12. Leafnose snake
13. Sonoran gopher snake
14. Ground snake
15. Patchnose snake
16. Desert kingsnake
17. Western blind snake
18. AZ glossy snake
19. Clark's spiny lizard
20. Desert spiny lizard
21. Greater earless lizard
22. Regal horned lizard
23. AZ night lizard
24. Gila spotted whiptail
25. Western whiptail
26. Gila monster
27. Chuckwalla
28. Banded gecko
29. Collared lizard
30. Fence lizard
31. Desert iguana
32. Zebra-tailed lizard
33. Side-blotched lizard
34. Leopard lizard
35. Couch's spadefoot
36. Great Plains toad
37. Red-spotted toad
38. Woodhouse's toad
39. Sonoran Desert toad
40. Canyon treefrog
41. [Variable sandsnake probably occurs here.]

Forty herps to start with is pretty darn good. We'll have a really hard time trying to find them all. Some areas I think where we can add to the list is with some herps that MIGHT be missing, such as the regal ringneck snake, the sand snake, some kind of shovel-nose snake, the sidewinder, other earless lizards, the tree lizard, or other spadefoot toads. Also, we might be able to clarify some herps, such as confirming the type of patchnose snake, the type of collared lizard, and the type of fence lizard, etc.

Other areas we might be able to help with will include identifying different types of habitat; areas certain herps occur in; and possibly doing a program which will help educate MSC helpers and/or the public. We have also been asked to list species of birds we recognize and species of plants which haven't been recognized, yet. Because I'm no expert on the plants of the Sonoran Desert, I'll be taking lots of photos of plant species, especially wildflowers, and trying to i.d. them later from the pics. Hopefully this will help. Actually having a number of workers, when we get dates set, will help, since we'd be able to cover more ground and have more eyes for observation.

Sounds like it could be an interesting and beneficial project to all parties... 8-)

Terry

I made my edits in "red."

Since we haven't discussed it with the Conservancy, yet, we don't know if they have any more info on these two species. We will still have to look into that... ;)

TC

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ACK!
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ACK! » January 20th, 2011, 1:10 pm

:mrgreen:

Tiger rattler, long-nosed snake, black-necked garter?

Desert horned lizard, long-tailed brush lizard?

Mediterranean gecko?


:thumb:

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » January 20th, 2011, 2:26 pm

ACK! wrote::mrgreen:

Tiger rattler, long-nosed snake, black-necked garter?

Desert horned lizard, long-tailed brush lizard?

Mediterranean gecko?


:thumb:

Are you saying these species probably exist on the site or that we should look to see if they're there? Thanks...TC

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ACK!
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ACK! » January 20th, 2011, 4:37 pm

ratsnakehaven wrote:
ACK! wrote: :mrgreen:

Tiger rattler, long-nosed snake, black-necked garter?

Desert horned lizard, long-tailed brush lizard?

Mediterranean gecko?


:thumb:

Are you saying these species probably exist on the site or that we should look to see if they're there? Thanks...TC
:idea:

YES

:!:

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 20th, 2011, 9:24 pm

I think at this time we should just concentrate on the approval of permits before we start worrying about what we may or may not find!

I would be surprised if we saw any Specks in that range.

Dave

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Brian Hubbs » January 21st, 2011, 10:37 am

Why is the Desert Kingsnake on that list? It's the CALIFORNIA Kingsnake....!!! Oh, and I want in on the fun...but why is it starting in July? Could we maybe pick a HOTTER time to start, like August? Why isn't this starting in March? :shock:

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 23rd, 2011, 2:02 pm

Brian

I have been working with the Preserve since last March to get us out there. But the City of Scottsdale (preserve owner) is totally dragging their feet in the permit issuance.
Now that this new all-encompassing flora & fauna survey has come about hopefully it will get us in the field sooner. If we can ge out there in the dark of night I'll be happy in July.

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 23rd, 2011, 2:26 pm

Here is the proposed schedule. I will attempt to get it adjusted so we can get out in the field sooner....

Image

also, here is the proposed flow chart of the chain of command on the project. Notice we report directly to the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. I will be sure to allow us to report our findings into our database.

Image

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azatrox
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by azatrox » January 28th, 2011, 2:40 am

Regarding the specks....There is no "probably not" about them occurring there...They don't...period.

I can say with absolute certainty that both tiger rattlesnakes and longnosed snakes occur there, as I have found both species, and on numerous occasions.

I could go on about personal species observations (again I spent 2-3 nights a week for 3 months in the summer hiking the various washes there in 2007)...Needless to say I saw and photo'ed ALOT of wildlife. Rather than ruin the surprises for everyone, I'll keep my trap shut and let ya'll find your own surprises!

-Kris

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » January 28th, 2011, 8:01 am

azatrox wrote:Regarding the specks....There is no "probably not" about them occurring there...They don't...period.

I can say with absolute certainty that both tiger rattlesnakes and longnosed snakes occur there, as I have found both species, and on numerous occasions.

I could go on about personal species observations (again I spent 2-3 nights a week for 3 months in the summer hiking the various washes there in 2007)...Needless to say I saw and photo'ed ALOT of wildlife. Rather than ruin the surprises for everyone, I'll keep my trap shut and let ya'll find your own surprises!

-Kris

Kris, I don't doubt ya' about the speckled. It's just that the Conservancy has it on their list and we'll have to get them to take it off. I'll try to get the tiger and longnose added too, and hopefully we'll be able to find some of those. I appreciate your comments and would love to discuss your findings there in detail. Hope you can go with us too, sometime, when we do a survey out there. I'm sure we won't find everything that you found after that long of a study period.

Regards....Terry

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azatrox
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by azatrox » January 28th, 2011, 9:05 am

Oh, and in all my hours of hiking there, I never saw even a single Mojave rattlesnake either...the dominant snake there BY FAR is C. atrox. As far as buzzworms, it's C. atrox, C. tigris and C. molossus...I've seen all three there. I suppose it's possible that C. scutulatus occurs in some of the flatter, creosote strewn areas, but once you actually get "into" the mountain washes, you'll see more C. atrox than you can shake a stick at.

Desert torts are also VERY common there...I hiked there in October of last year and saw 4 in the span of about an hour and a half.

-Kris

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » January 29th, 2011, 8:42 am

Great News Everyone!

After attending an initial planning meeting yesterday I spoke to the representative of the City of Scottsdale who issues the permits. We should be receiving our permit within the next two weeks!

As part of the baseline flora and fauna study that will be taking place at the preserve we will be in charge of locating, identifying, and cataloging all the herps found on the preserve.

We will need to hold a "training" meeting for the volunteers and staff of the preserve that will be assisting us in the project. After this we will then be able to go out into the field and begin the work.

We will be allowed to go off trail, flip rocks, and access the preserve at night per the rules of the permit (which are fairly simple and not problematic in my opinion).

We will need to be on the Preserve at least twice a month (in the main season) for the next three years.

I will update with more info as I get it.

Thanks all!

Dave Weber

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