Weekend outing to study reptiles and amphibians

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September 22, 2014 - 12:00 AM

YATES CENTER — Campers will study an assortment of reptile, amphibian and turtle species in rural Woodson County over the weekend.
The Kansas Herpetological Society will lead a field trip near and around the Woodson State Fishing Lake, also known as Lake Fegan, southwest of Yates Center.
The event is free and open to the public.
Participants will find and document the various reptile, amphibian and turtle species throughout the area as the animals prepare for their winter hibernation.
Most of the collected animals will be released where they are found, although some individuals holding Kansas Scientific Collecting Permits may keep some specimens for further study.
“These outings have allowed people of all ages an exciting and unique opportunity to help with a scientific cause while learning more about a fascinating group of animals that is often misunderstood or feared,” said Robin Oldman, KHS spokesman. “Because reptiles and amphibians live so close to the Earth and its water, changes in their numbers can indicate environmental change. That’s important information for our state’s residents and especially for farmers.”
Participants are advised to wear long pants and thick boots and to dress appropriately for the weather and the terrain. Leather gloves, hats, sunscreen, drinking water, two-way radios or cell phones, field guides and a camera also are good items to bring.
Organizers also are in need of old pillowcases and gallon-sized freezer bags to temporarily hold captured animals.
Participants are responsible for their own meals, snacks and overnight accommodations.
The field trip will begin at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, although participants are welcome to arrive Friday for an extra night of camping.
Travis Taggart of the Center for North American Herpetology and the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University, is organizing the field trip.
Signs will be posted near the lake locating the main group.
For more information about KHS, its field trips and its annual meeting in November, visit www.cnah.org/khs or find the group on facebook. The group has organized more than 50 such field trips over the past 30 years.

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