The Calusa Herpetological Society
Of Southwest Florida

Thursday, June 4, 20157:00 pm

Urban ecology using wildlife cameras: Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) burrows

Tonight's speakers are Dr. John Herman from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and his students Alexandra Benton, Kathryn Brewer, Samantha Burkett, Nikol Irizarry, Jade Johnson, and Courtney Wilson. The status of the State Threatened Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) as a keystone species is well documented with over 300 species utilizing their burrows. However, little attention has been given to tortoise populations in urban environments, let alone the urban commensals that might be utilizing their burrows. In this research project, conducted by undergraduates from FGCU, we explore not only tortoise behavior at the burrow but also catalog commensal burrow use by way of wildlife cameras. In addition, we set wildlife cameras up on the burrows of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), which is a State Species of Special Concern, at these same urban sites. We have “captured” some amazing behaviors and surprising visitors to these burrow systems over the course of the study as well as some serious conservation threats that come with urban ecosystems.


Herp of the Month (June 2015)

The herp of the month is the Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis), a native Florida species. There will be a short 5-10 minute presentation on this species and a live example.


After Meeting Dinner

Do you want to talk herps for another hour or two after the meeting? Don't forget to come out to Stevie Tomatoes (a sports bar and grill) on Daniels Blvd and I-75 after the meeting, for food and plenty of informal herp talk with the speaker and other meeting attendees.

WHO'S INVITED ? You are! Anyone with an interest in any aspect of herpetology or herpetoculture is welcome to attend, learn, and exchange their experiences with our friendly membership. Come out to meet others who keep, breed or study reptiles and amphibians, and let them share their fascination with you. We average 20 – 35 people attending every meeting.

Cookies and cold soda, a nightly raffle of live herps, herp products, and books follow each speaker's talk, and lots of herp camaraderie, gossip, and fun can be counted upon at all meetings !

For more info , call (239) 728-2390 or (239) 481-3525 or  EMAIL:   

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