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Nongame Program 25th AnniversaryCONTACT:
Mike Marchand: (603) 271-3016
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
April 17, 2013

Amphibian and Reptile Volunteers Help Fill Data Gaps

Free Talk on Black Racer Snakes and Blanding's Turtles – April 24, 2013, in Concord

Mink frog
The mink frog is one of the seldom-seen reptiles for which Fish and Game is seeking reports of sightings.

CONCORD, N.H. – While you're outdoors spending time in New Hampshire's woods and wetlands this year, keep an eye out for reptiles and amphibians. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department collects information on these sightings to help monitor the state's reptile and amphibian populations.

Last year, more than 250 volunteers in the Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program, or RAARP, reported 82 frogs, 56 salamanders, 176 turtles and 134 snakes.

Find out more about participating as a RAARP volunteer at wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/reptiles_amphibians.htm or call Fish and Game's Wildlife Division at 603-271-2461 to request a RAARP volunteer information package.

This year, biologists are asking RAARP volunteers to help fill in gaps in the data for several seldom-seen reptiles and amphibians, including the mink frog, Fowler's toad, leopard frogs and several species of salamanders, frogs, turtles and snakes.

Outdoor Adventure Talk: Black Racers and Blandings Turtles
The public has a chance to hear firsthand about the amazing diversity of reptiles and amphibians in New Hampshire at a free talk set for Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at 7 p.m. at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (11 Hazen Drive) in Concord. N.H. Fish and Game Nongame biologists Mike Marchand, Brendan Clifford and Loren Valliere will discuss current research being done on Blanding’s turtles and black racer snakes. Participants will be able to try out equipment that biologists use in the field and learn how they can help researchers.

Reporting Wildlife Sightings
"With the 2012 reports, the RAARP program has almost hit the 10,000 mark for reptile and amphibian records collected since the program began in 1992," said wildlife biologist Michael Marchand of Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program.  Several years ago, the RAARP program was combined with the NH Wildlife Sightings web reporting system, which allows additional wildlife species such as certain birds and mammals to be reported.

Reptiles and Amphibians - An Early Focus of the Nongame Program
RAARP was one of the earliest initiatives of the Nongame Program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year (1988-2013). Working with nonprofits and universities, volunteers and conservation specialists, the Nongame program has become a leader for a statewide coalition of partners dedicated to conserving wildlife and habitat, guided by the state's Wildlife Action Plan.

When the Nongame Program was established in 1988, surprisingly little information existed about the distribution of frogs, snakes, salamanders and turtles in New Hampshire. The Nongame Program worked with Dr. Jim Taylor at the University of New Hampshire to enlist volunteers to send in reports on amphibians and reptiles and published his book, Reptiles and Amphibians of New Hampshire. The Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program (RAARP) was formally established in 1992, and volunteers soon had documented hundreds of new sightings.

“The RAARP program has been a very useful tool for gathering species information in New Hampshire,” said Marchand. "Every year we learn more about these fascinating creatures and where they occur."

The N.H. Fish and Game's Department's website has extensive information on reptiles and amphibians of NH, including photos of all native species, which have been very popular with the public. Visit wildnh.com/Wildlife/Nongame/reptiles_amphibians.htm

The N.H. Fish and Game's Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects and other invertebrates in New Hampshire. Learn more about the Nongame Program, and events celebrating its 25th anniversary, at wildnh.com/nongame.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
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