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Do You Want to Go on a Herp Survey?


May 3, 2012

Herpetology Survey, Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Sponsored by the Virginia Herpetology Society, the Friends of Dyke Marsh and the U.S. National Park Service

Leaders: Caroline Seitz and Brent Steury

This survey will have three segments – morning, afternoon and evening. Participants are welcome to do one, two or three. It will occur rain or shine, but not during a storm with thunder and lightning. Park in the BelleHaven picnic area parking lot.

The Schedule

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Terrestrial survey in several areas of the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Meet at 10 a. m. in the Belle Haven parking lot to form teams. Look for the “Reptiles Alive” van.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch (bring a picnic lunch) & Survey Recap/Count for the AM survey

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Water survey via kayaks and canoes [bring your own boat] Meet at the Belle Haven Marina Boat Launch area

5 p.m. to sunset Dinner (on your own)

7:45 p.m. to9 p.m. (starting at sunset) Evening survey for frogs calling [bring a flashlight] + Final Species Tally and numbers Meet at the Belle Haven Parking area – look for the Reptiles Alive van

What to Wear and Bring

Prepare for all weather, for walking through brambles and woods, in muck, over rocks and on uneven surfaces. Wear waterproof shoes/boots or old shoes that can get muddy and wet. No one will be expected to wade into deep water.

Bring sun protection, camera, binoculars, notepad, pen, a garbage bag.

Bring lunch and/or dinner. There will also be time to leave and buy lunch and dinner.

Bring a flashlight if you are doing the evening walk.

RSVP: Please let one of the following know if you plan to participate and when:

Caroline Seitz, Virginia Herpetology Society,

Glenda Booth, Friends of Dyke Marsh,

Brent Steury, National Park Service,

Historic Hawaii Hawksbill Nesting Season

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park News Release

Release Date:  Mar. 1, 2012

Contact: Jessica Ferracane/Public Affairs, ,
Contact: Will Seitz/Turtle Recovery Project Coordinator,, 808-985-6090

Volunteers Witness First Green Turtle Nesting on Hawai‘i Island

Hawaii National Park, HI – Hawai‘i Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project
recorded one of its most historic sea turtle nesting seasons in 22 years,
including the first recorded green turtle nesting on the island of Hawai‘i,
a rare daytime nesting by a hawksbill turtle, and an increase in the number
of newly tagged female hawksbills.

In the 2011 report released today, a female green turtle, or honu, was
first observed attempting to nest on the beach in front of the park’s
remote Halapē campsite.  She then traveled 52 coastal miles southwest and
nested at Pōhue Bay. Her historic nest was a success, with 40 baby honu
reaching the ocean. Green turtles are federally listed as threatened, are
indigenous to Hawai‘i, and are seen throughout the islands. They typically
nest in the French Frigate Shoals, but there have been occasional
documented nestings by honu on the other main Hawaiian Islands.

Also within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a female honu ‘ea, or
hawksbill turtle, was observed nesting at ‘Āpua Point at noon, the earliest
daytime crawl in project history.  Hawksbill turtles are endangered, and
nest primarily at beaches along the southern coast of Hawai‘i Island at

Volunteers helped an estimated 3,000 hatchlings reach the ocean from a
total of 30 nests (one green, 29 hawksbill) along five of the beaches they
monitor: ‘Āpua Point, Halapē, Kamehame, Kōloa, and Pōhue Bay.

“Without the help from over 20 dedicated volunteers this season, many of
these hatchlings would not have made it to the ocean.  Thanks to them,
there is hope for the survival of honu‘ea” said Will Seitz, project

Other season highlights included a nest excavation with third grade
students from Volcano School, and a continued increase in the number of
newly tagged honu ‘ea females. Out of the nine female adult hawksbill
turtle observed, five were newly tagged while the rest were returnees from
previous seasons.

During nesting season, from May through December, females come ashore to
lay clutches of eggs.  The eggs are vulnerable during the two-month
incubation, and are preyed upon by mongoose, rats, feral cats, and dogs.
After the hatchlings emerge they can become caught behind rocks or
vegetation, disoriented by artificial lights, run over by vehicles, or
eaten by mammals and birds. Volunteer efforts are critical to their

The 2011 report can be downloaded from the park’s website,

For information on how to help, visit, or contact the
Hawksbill Project at 808-985-6090.



Article From Delmarva

Reptiles invade Pocomoke for day of fun

Written by

POCOMOKE CITY — A prehensile tailed skink hanging from its tail like a monkey, a fat, black and white Tegu lizard with a flicking forked tongue, and an amazon river turtle named “Podocnemis” were among the reptiles that held kids rapt at the Delmarva Discovery Center’s Reptile Festival.

Caroline Seitz, director of the Reptiles Alive animal show, made lessons about habitat and adaptation interesting with stories of tarantula-chomping and rotten fruit-slurping lizards.

“I liked the turtle,” said 10-year-old cub scout Wilson Davis, who was accompanied by his brother and fellow scout, 7-year-old Noah Davis.

“She really brings things to life,” said their mother and cub scout leader, Sandy Davis, after watching Seitz’s show. “She really interacts with the audience and the kids.”

While the presentation was aimed at younger audience members, Davis and other adults clearly enjoyed the show, which featured a dynamic Seitz handling several exotic species.

“You can’t do this with other lizards,” Seitz announced, letting a prehensile tailed skink wrap its tail around one of her hands as she pulled her other hand from the leather glove it clung to with its sharp claws. “Some people call them monkey skinks for this ability.”

As the skink hung from its tail, gripping the empty glove, she went on to explain how the lizard adapted to the forest canopy with its sharp claws and strong tail for climbing.

While the tengu and other reptiles in Seitz’s show are naturally rainforest natives, Reptiles Alive literature explained most of the animals in its shows were rescued as abandoned or confiscated pets.

Reaching out to those looking for an experience closer to home, the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas group was in attendance, signing people up to volunteer with its efforts to document species in the area.

As part of its conservation efforts, the group will establish a baseline for monitoring changes in the distribution of reptiles and amphibians in Maryland.

MARA’s statewide coordinator, Heather Cunningham, said the group is looking for MARA observers to report day-to-day with animals, as well as MARA surveyors to conduct more formal surveys of nearby blocks or quadrants.

“It’s not just common species found,” Cunningham said. “We’ve had volunteers find a number of rare and uncommon species, like the mountain earth snake.”

Visit the MARA website at for the latest information. to join the Natural History Society of Maryland Meetup Group and help plan searches in your area.

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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17