Undercover HERP survey in Rochester wetlands

A team of nine herpetologists (specialists in amphibian, turtle and snake biology) from Toronto, Milwaukee and Buffalo zoos and SUNY Environmental School of Forestry (ESF) recently surveyed with Seneca Park Zoo staff a unique wetland in Greater Rochester.

The biologists hiked and waded through the boggy habitat in search of New York State’s endangered, protected reptiles and amphibians. The location of this special¬†place is kept confidential to protect the animals from illegal harvest by poachers selling to high bidders in the black market pet trade.

Yes – endangered and protected animals are at risk of poaching in upstate New York just like the biodiversity hot spots in Africa, Asia and South America. The team of herpetologists identified many reptiles and amphibians, several of which may be seen in photographs taken by the Zoo’s Assistant Curator John Adamski and myself. This unique habitat and wildlife are saved and protected only due to the efforts of the private landowner and neighbors.

We all thank these habitat guardians for their vision saving New York’s wildlife in wild places for future generations.

– Dr. Jeff Wyatt, Director of Animal Health and Conservation and John Adamski, Assistant Curator