PARS Launches

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation is pleased to announce the launch of the Pennsylvania Amphibian & Reptile Survey (abbreviated as PARS), a new amphibian and reptile atlas created through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. This ten-year project (2013-2022) is calling on Pennsylvania’s naturalists, amateur and professional herpetologists, and nature enthusiasts in general, to join the increasing ranks of citizen scientists collecting important observations for science and resource agencies. The amphibians and reptiles of Pennsylvania need your help.

Why should we care about amphibians and reptiles?

Amphibians and reptiles are misunderstood animals that are more important to humans then most humans even realize. Reptiles and Amphibians (particularly amphibians) have been recognized by science as animals that are sensitive to changes in the environment, changes that will affect us indirectly (i.e. through ecosystem simplification or collapse due to the loss of amphibians and reptiles) or directly (i.e. chemicals put into the environment that can directly harm humans). Increasing population and urbanization in general are making life difficult for our amphibians and reptiles (collectively called ‘herps’ by some). Fortunately, awareness about herps dramatically increased over the past decade due to increased education efforts, and, in particular, from television programs starring folks like Jeff Corwin and Steve Irwin that brought the adventure of field herping to people’s living rooms. Even with the upwelling of support, we know very little about the distributions of amphibians and reptiles. How can we monitor changes to amphibian and reptile populations and effectively protect them if we don’t even know where they are found?

What can I do to help?

Please consider volunteering for PARS, we really need your help. People of all backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged to volunteer. Together, we can build and army of citizen scientists that can make a difference for the herps and the great state of Pennsylvania. Log on to and sign-up to begin fun. We can’t do this without you.

Please Volunteer Now

The PARS project is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (via the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grants program), with additional funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.