To bring together all those interested in the search for and conservation of Louisiana's wild amphibians and reptiles through the sharing of discussions, questions, pictures, and trip reports on Facebook, guided field trips, and citizen science projects, while also seizing every opportunity to educate others in order to foster an appreciation for, and thus, promote conservation of Louisiana's amazing diversity of amphibians and reptiles.
This group is primarily based on Facebook here, but we wanted to have an Internet presence for those people interested in our group that are not on social media. If anyone not on Facebook is interested in joining our group, and going on our field trips or possibly helping out with our citizen science projects or educational events please contact me at the above "Ask Me!" link.
Citizen Science Projects
We recently completed our second and final year of our first citizen science project to document the amphibian and reptile species inhabiting Palmetto Island State Park in Vermilion Parish. This is one of Louisiana's newest state parks, and this data will help to inform the park on what amphibian and reptile species occur at the park, and their relative abundance and distribution at the park. We completed a tri-fold about the amphibians and reptiles of Palmetto Island State Park that is available for free to all visitors to the park. And we aim to publish the results of our citizen science project in a scientific journal.
Read about some of our work in the Friends of Palmetto Island Park monthly newsletters below:
February 2014 - Article about L.A.R.E. and our work written by the State Park Manager on page 3
March 2014 - Introductory article about L.A.R.E. and a survey update on page 8
April 2014 - Article with a snake story and species profile along with a survey update on pages 9-10
May 2014 - Article with a snake story and species profile along with a survey update on pages 8-9
June 2014 - Article that recaps L.A.R.E.'s participation in the Stir the Pot Festival and a survey update on pages 9-10
July 2014 - Article about nonvenomous watersnakes at the park and a survey update on pages 6-7
April 22, 2017 - LARE Outreach at Stir the Pot Seafood Festival and Cook-off, Abbeville, LA
May 13, 2017 - LARE workshop to Acadiana Master Naturalists
May 20, 2017 - Audubon Nature Center Bioblitz in New Orleans East (LARE assists)
Past Educational Events
July 27, 2013 - L.A.R.E. gave an hour long multimedia presentation to a group of 20+ Acadiana trail runners on identification and natural history of snakes that they may come across on their runs. They were particularly interested in telling venomous species from nonvenomous ones, though most in attendance seemed to appreciate the place for both types. By the end of the presentation, they were quizzed and did very well on telling venomous species apart from nonvenomous ones. Everyone was very appreciative, and we left it as a possible yearly thing we would do as there are many new faces to the group each year.
April 26, 2014 - L.A.R.E. had a vendor booth at the Stir the Pot Seafood Festival and Cook-off at Palmetto Island State Park. We promoted L.A.R.E. and highlighted our herp inventory efforts at the park. We had over 25 species of native amphibians and reptiles on display for educational purposes. The event was very successful and we were busy for the entire time of the festival.
April 11, 2015 - L.A.R.E. again had a vendor booth at the Stir the Pot Seafood Festival and Cook-off at Palmetto Island State Park. We promoted L.A.R.E. and highlighted our herp inventory efforts at the park. We had over 25 species of native amphibians and reptiles on display for educational purposes. The event was very successful and we were busy for the entire time of the festival. We gave out several of our L.A.R.E. 2015 calendars for free to very enthusiastic kids.
October 17, 2015 - L.A.R.E. had a booth at the 18th Annual Wild Things event in Lacombe, LA, hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. We were one of over 40 vendors educating the thousands of visitors about native wildlife, conservation, and other nature-related activities. We had live salamanders, turtles and snakes on display along with several age-appropriate activities and quizzes concerning Louisiana’s amphibians and reptiles. It was a busy day for our members working the booth and a huge success!
March 5, 2016 - L.A.R.E. assisted in a workshop and field trip at Sam Houston Jones State Park on amphibians and reptiles given for the Southwest Louisiana Master Naturalists group.
March 12, 2016 - L.A.R.E. had a vendor booth at Arbor Day at Tuten Park in Lake Charles. L.A.R.E. exhibited some native amphibians and reptiles and educated the attendees about this group of fascinating, important animals.
March 30, 2016 - L.A.R.E. gave a workshop on snakes, lizards, and turtles at the Acadiana Park Nature Station to the Acadiana Louisiana Master Naturalists group.
April 2, 2016 - L.A.R.E. again had a vendor booth at the Stir the Pot Seafood Festival and Cook-off at Palmetto Island State Park. We promoted L.A.R.E. and highlighted our herp inventory efforts at the park that culminated in a full-color pamphlet that was given out. We had many species of native amphibians and reptiles on display for educational purposes. We gave out free L.A.R.E. stickers and bookmarks to anyone who wanted them.
May 21, 2016 - L.A.R.E. was present to educate all those in attendance and participating in the snake rodeo in East Carroll Parish on the importance of snakes in the ecosystem. We had live snakes to show and other educational materials to present and give out. Plenty folks, young and old, visited our tent throughout the event and it was a first step in hoping to change the hearts and minds of folks in the area to appreciate snakes and not persecute them.
October 15, 2016 - L.A.R.E. had a booth at the 19th Annual Wild Things event in Lacombe, LA, hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. We were one of many vendors educating the thousands of visitors about native wildlife, conservation, and other nature-related activities. We had live frogs, salamanders, turtles and snakes on display along with several age-appropriate activities and quizzes concerning Louisiana’s amphibians and reptiles. Just like last year the event was a huge success!
February 4, 2017 - L.A.R.E. was invited to set up a couple of tables in the swamp exhibit at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, LA, to commemorate World Wetlands Day. Six L.A.R.E. volunteers spent the day educating folks about the importance of conservation of Louisiana’s wild amphibian and reptile populations.
March 11, 2017 - L.A.R.E. was invited to be a vendor at the weekly farmer’s market at the Horse Farm in Lafayette. We brought a few snakes as well as some frogs, turtles and salamanders. The threat of rain put a damper on the crowds but we still had many folks come by the booth and hold the snakes and get educated. We also gave a short presentation on snake myths and misconceptions as well as snake conservation and safety.
March 31, 2017 - LARE members gave presentations on snakes to kindergarteners at an elementary school near Baton Rouge.
Past Official Field Trips
Other LARE-assisted Activities
April 25, 2015 - L.A.R.E. had a great showing at the annual herp bioblitz at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans East. We detected 14 species, including a beaufiful specked kingsnake that actually got caught twice an hour apart after someone first caught it. Many of us met in person for the first time and we all had a great time, despite the horrific mosquitos.
April 25, 2015 - L.A.R.E. had a couple representatives at BREC’s Blackwater Conservation Area’s bioblitz to assist in herp detection and identification.
2015 - Assistance from multiple L.A.R.E. members in herpetological surveys led by Kim Terrell, SCBI wildlife biologist and adjunct faculty at Tulane (also a L.A.R.E. member), of three National Wildlife Refuges in southeast Louisiana.
April 2, 2016 - BREC held their annual BioBlitz at Forest Community Park in Baton Rouge. LARE sent a couple of folks to help with amphibian and reptile documentation and identification.
April 2, 2017 - LMNA Bioblitz at Louisiana State Arboretum at Chicot State Park (LARE assisted)
April 14-15, 2017 - BREC Bioblitz at Frenchtown Road, Baton Rouge (LARE assisted)
“In the end we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught.”
- Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist