Southboro Open Land Foundation

people looking over meadow at sunset

More Information on Volunteering to Help for Our Wildlife Survey at Beals Preserve

Published on March 13, 2014 by Hal

Beginning March 29,  we will place observation sites at regular intervals at a pond edge and meadow to provide a sample of amphibians and reptiles that live on Beals Preserve. Because amphibians and reptiles use their habitats in different ways and can be active both day and night, we are calling on volunteers to help us collect data 3 times daily (9-10 am, 2-3 pm and 7-9 pm (just after dusk). This exciting opportunity will both provide valuable insight into how our preserve is being used by reptiles and amphibians and provide a unique chance to explore nature and its remarkable diversity.

 All Volunteers will be provided training and support as needed.

Volunteers under the age of 18 will require parental permission and if under the age of 14 will need to be accompanied by an adult.  Attending a training session will be mandatory. Volunteers are responsible for transportation to and from the Beals Preserve.

Training overview:

  • Review of safety precautions including methods to avoid exposure to ticks and poison ivy.

  • Demonstration of the methods of data collection at the various observation sites

    • How to look for herps while walking along installed transects.

    • Observation and data collection of specimens collected in sunken buckets including measuring, weighing, and taking pictures before releasing.

  • Overview of record keeping: data on total number of individuals, individual mass, length, and gender before release of the individual.

  • Instructions on safety guidelines on how to handle amphibians and how to proceed if dead animals are found.

Additional notes

We are aware some volunteers may be fine handling frogs and salamanders but not like snakes. We can schedule around this preference as there are separate observation areas for snakes.

If you would like to volunteer, or would like more information, please contact Freddie Gillespie.

Ideally we are looking for volunteers to commit to one time slot a week but even less frequent participation will be welcomed.

The project is being planned and guided by Lawrence Spezzano Jr., M.Sc., M.Ed, a Science Teacher at Boston Latin School and assisted by Dr. Acacia Alcivar Warren, a One Health practitioner and conservation geneticist.