Herpetological Associates, Inc.

Specialists in Endangered and Threatened Plants and Animals,
their Ecology and Environment. Planning for Wildlife
Conservation in Suburbs, Parks, and Forests.

Announcing a New Book: The Bog Turtle

The Bog Turtle is a member of the large family Emydidae, the semi-aquatic pond and marsh turtles, which has some of the most colorful and diverse hard-shelled species in the world. Unfortunately, Bog Turtle populations have gradually declined throughtout their entire range owing to a combination of reasons.

This book provides in-depth natural history information on Bog Turtles, including their taxonomic backgrouncd, survival tactics, predators, repro­ductive biology, foraging habits and diet, habitat preferences, hibernation stategies, and conservation. Zappalorti will take you on a step-by-step journey to explore the life of this small and interesting turtle. Welcome to the secret world of the Bog Turtle.

The Bog Turtle is available on backorder, in paperback for $29.95, or for the limited-edition leather-bound copy for $79.95. Go here to order.

Herpetological Associates (HA) Capabilities & Specialties

HA has offices in New Jersey, Pennsyl­vania, and Florida. We can provide a full range of consulting services to businesses, industries, utility companies, governmental agencies, nonpro­fit conservation groups, and citizen’s groups. We are a professional corporation that can help clients with habitat evaluations, plant and wildlife inventories, and environmental impact statements.

Specific staff expertise is with federal- and state-listed endangered and threatened (E&T) plant and wildlife species. Herpetol­ogy, ornithology, and botany remain our principal areas of specialization, yet we also conduct surveys for fish, butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies.

In New Jersey, a majority of our work has been helping clients with the preparation of CAFRA (Coastal Area Facility Review Act) appli­cations to the Bureau of Coastal Pro­ject Review, New Jersey De­partment of Environ­mental Protection, and applications to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission. We have also worked for the Pennsylvania Depart­ment of Transportation on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-276 and I-95 Interchange Pro­ject, and for the City of Philadelphia at the Phila­delphia International Airport. Like­wise in New York we carried out E&T species sur­veys in Dutchess, Orange, Richmond, and Rockland Counties. Some of the major projects were E&T species surveys for the expan­sion of Stewart International Airport, and presence or ab­sence surveys for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company.

Mitigation is an important component of our firm’s capabil­ities. We have pioneered the creation of artificial snake hiber­nacula (dens) and amphibian breeding ponds for mitiga­tion and habitat improvement. Environmentally sensi­tive golf course de­sign is a particular interest, and we have provided successful mitigation plans on several golf courses in New York, New Jer­sey, and Delaware dealing with E&T spe­cies protection. In addition, we specialize in the design and implementation of wildlife management plans for both devel­opers and nonprofit conservation groups.



HA Staff Bog Turtle Experience

Herpetological Associates, Inc., has been conducting bog turtle surveys and research since 1977. All HA staff are trained and experienced biologists in general, and are specialists in bog turtles and wood turtles. All staff have been expertly trained by Robert Zappalorti, who has extensive experience and has worked with numerous bog turtle biologists through­out the eastern United States for over 35 years.

Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii)

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

Gravid female Timber Rattlesnake

Black phase Timber Rattlesnake

Bog Turtle

Yellow phase Timber Rattlesnake basking

Hatchling Bog Turtle in nest

Female Timber Rattlesnake with young

Head of Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen)

Bog Turtle

Bog Turtles mating

Northern Copperhead on leaves

Northern Copperhead

Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus)

Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)

Mud Snake (Farancia abacura)

Juvenile Timber Rattlesnake, feeding on a mouse

Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi)

Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)

Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)

Eastern Red-spotted Newt (Nothophthalmus viridescens)

Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber)

Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata)

Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

Robert Zappalorti, Ray Farrell, Tessa Bickhart, and Michael Torocco have all been recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
as qualified bog turtle experts in multiple states, and they rou­tinely perform Phase I, II, and III surveys.

A brief description of HA Staff bog turtle experience is as fol­lows: Robert Zappalorti conducted surveys and studies on bog turtles
in New Jersey and North Carolina beginning in the 1973, prior to founding Herpetological Associates, Inc., in 1977. In 1992
he began intensive bog turtle surveys and nesting beha­vior/predator studies for the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Na­ture Conservancy (TNC).
Ray Farrell and Robert Zappalorti con­ducted the 1978–1979 and 1988–1989 bog turtle survey
for the New Jersey Endangered & Nongame Species Program.

HA has assisted our clients by providing consultation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), New Jersey Department of Envi­ronmental Protection (NJDEP), and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) on numerous development projects. HA has also pioneered various turtle-trapping techniques and has pro­vided important data and training sessions to the USFWS, NJDEP, PFBC, and various bog turtle biologists.

HA’s experience with bog turtle ecology and behavior, including radiotelemetry and mark/recapture studies for TNC between 1992 and 2005, has given HA the knowledge to make quick and accurate judgements on the presence or absence of bog turtles and the suitability of bog turtle habitat. HA’s research (including Phase I, II, and III survey techniques) with bog turtles has been held in high regard by the PFBC, NJDEP, and the USFWS, and we are one of the few consultant firms qualified to perform trapping of bog turtles (Phase III surveys).

Monitoring Venomous Snakes on Construction Sites

The Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program’s (NJDEP), includes several Herpetological Associates, Inc. staff members as Pri­mary Venomous Snake Monitors. Robert T. Zappalorti, Executive Director of HA, is a recognized Veno­mous Snake Instructor and a Primary Venomous Snake Monitor. In addition, the following HA staff members are also recognized by the NJDEP as Primary Venomous Snake Monitors: Raymond Farrell, HA’s New York Regional Manager; Matthew McCort, HA’s Northern New Jersey Regional Manager/Herpetologist; David Schneider, HA’s Southern New Jersey Regional Manager/Herpetologist; and Bill Callaghan, HA’s Senior Field Technician/Herpetologist.

All HA staff members are cross-trained to safely capture and handle venomous snakes. We also have experience in conducting habitat evaluations, den moni­toring, and the use of specific sampling techniques in an attempt to locate rattlesnakes in their dens or at other nearby basking or foraging sites. HA’s team members are recognized as a professionals qualified to conduct habitat evaluations, presence or absence studies, and environmental impact studies with respect to the state endangered timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and the northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen), a species of special concern. Both of these species are known to occur in portions of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As such, state and federal fish and wildlife agencies require utility companies to have Primary Venomous Snake Monitors present during all construction and repair work on their right-of-ways.

Copperhead coiled (Agkistrodon contortrix)