Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scott and I just finished a report for the owners of a marshy property that we are privileged to herp. Writing up a report is no fun at all compared to finding the herps to report on (I'm sure any professional herpetologists reading this are groaning at how little I know about this sad aspect of their lives), but we're glad to have it done.

A lot of herpers drive past beautiful private property and simply wish they could get back there and slog around, look under logs, etc. In this, our scouting season, I recommend highly that you stop, knock on a door if you can find it, and ask permission to herp back there. Be polite, present yourself well, and try to imagine total strangers asking for permission to wander around your property as you prepare your pitch. The worst they can say is 'no' (I suppose they could pull out a shotgun and release the hounds, but if you're just politely knocking on the door, that's unlikely), and they might even say 'yes.'

We're not professionals, so we shouldn't try to pass off our observations as of the same rigor as a proper survey (though there are certainly ways we can try to be methodical about how we herp), but if someone lets you herp their property, thank them for the privilege by writing up what you find. Conservation-minded land owners might find the report genuinely useful, but even those that are just interested in other things might be tickled to have a report they can show the neighbors.

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