The Missouri Herpetological Association held its fifth annual fall field trip on the weekend of 24 – 26 Sep 2010 at Current River State Park, Shannon County, Missouri.
Eight members, representing three different institutions, caught or observed more than 116 individual reptiles and amphibians, representing a total of 24 species. Several photographs are available of members and animals. Most collecting activity occurred on Sat 25 Sep 2010, but a few individual animals were caught on Friday. The entire weekend was characterized by cool evening temperatures and unseasonably cool, but mostly sunny, daytime conditions. Habitats searched included woodlands, glades, streams, ponds, rivers, and roads.
The total species list along with numbers of individuals can be seen below. The counts for a few species of anurans were augmented with calling individuals or larvae. The counts below that are designated with a plus (+) symbol are minimum estimates of the number of individuals observed for those species.
The MHA would like to thank the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for providing permission to use state park property for the field trip. Special appreciation is extended to Jim Newberry, park manager, for his hospitality during the weekend.
The Missouri Herpetological Association will hold the 2010 Fall Field Trip Saturday, September 25. This year we will conduct a herpetofaunal survey of Current River State Park located approximately 16 miles north of Eminence in Shannon County. The organized count will be conducted between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
Current River State Park covers approximately 780 acres along the Current River in north central Shannon County. The area consists primarily of oak-hickory forest with several glades and both permanent and temporary ponds and streams. We plan to survey the herpetofauna of both terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
Directions to the park: Current River State Park is located along MO 19, halfway between Pulltite and Round Spring (both National Park Service campgrounds). Once you reach the park, take county road 19-D past the upper lake area, through a gate and two stone pillars, to a “T” in the road. The camping area will be at the “T” and the boathouse will be visible along the lower lake. Participants should plan to meet at the boathouse at 9am.
The park is currently under development after its recent transfer from the Department of Conservation and is not yet open to the public; however, we will be able to camp at the park for this event. Overnight campers should bring food and drink for their own meals. Additional information, including maps, is available on the park home page at http://www.mostateparks.com/currentriver.htm.
Trained herpetologists will lead groups of participants, verify identification and locality of the amphibians and reptiles collected, obtain photo documentation and maintain species counts. After verification most animals will be released at the site of capture. Only individuals with valid state collecting and research permits may retain selected specimens for research or display at accredited institutions.
Individuals of all ages are welcome to participate; however, adults should accompany young children. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and are advised to wear long pants and stout boots while in the field. Water, leather gloves, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant are also recommended. Participants with digital cameras and GPS units are encouraged to bring them to help document the survey. Individuals should provide their own lunches.
Results of the field trip will be posted on the MHA website at http://www.moherp.org/ and published in the 2010 MHA newsletter.