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E-M:/ Herp Atlas Program Continues



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 21 June 2005
CONTACT: Lori Sargent 517-373-1263, Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

Herp Atlas Program Continues

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking help from citizens in supporting Michigan's statewide herp survey to document the presence or absence of reptiles and amphibians across Michigan. The data will be collected for a statewide herp atlas.

This is the first statewide inventory of reptiles and amphibians to be conducted in Michigan.  The foundation of this project is to determine where species occur so we have baseline information to determine changes in populations over time.

"This is the first step in ensuring the future of our state's diversity of amphibians and reptiles," said Raymond Rustem, supervisor of the Natural Heritage Unit. "The atlas forms a foundation for answering questions about how global warming, natural phenomenon, and migration and range expansion affect herp population sizes."

The multi-year Herp Atlas project began three years ago in cooperation with the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Observations of all reptiles and amphibians will be collected through summer 2007. Observations must be verified by a knowledgeable source or be accompanied by a photograph or sound recording. Observers are reminded that they must follow all applicable state regulations regarding reptiles and amphibians.

For more information or a copy of the Herp Atlas manual and data cards, contact Lori Sargent at (517) 373-9418; e-mail: SargenL2@michigan.gov, or send a request to Herp Atlas, P.O. Box 30180, Lansing, MI 48909. Information also is available on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.
  
The Herp Atlas is one of many projects being supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund and the State Wildlife Grants program. Citizens can support these efforts by purchasing a Critical Wildlife Habitat vehicle registration plate through any Secretary of State office or by making a donation to the Nongame Wildlife Fund, P.O. Box 30180, Lansing, MI 48909.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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