Naturalists, herpetologists, and ecologists alike agree that tracking herpetofauna is a challenging undertaking. Scientists are concerned about the decline of once-familiar species, but evidence has often been too anecdotal to support firm conclusions. To better understand the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Maryland and forecast species’ futures in a time of accelerated environmental threats, conducting a comprehensive statewide survey updating 1970s-era distribution maps seemed ideal. However, this endeavor was of an impossibly ambitious scope for scientists alone to tackle. Enter the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project, comprising nearly a thousand dedicated citizen scientists who discovered and recorded the locations of herpetofauna throughout every corner of Maryland. In The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas, Heather R. Cunningham and Nathan H. Nazdrowicz present the findings of this massive undertaking. This definitive guide combines nearly 160 comprehensive new herpetological maps with historical distribution maps and in-depth species accounts. Color photos illustrate the natural history of the 89 species of frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, and lizards that call the state home. Essays discuss historical studies, the effects of Maryland’s current climate, geology, and habitat diversity-and the myriad conservation issues these animals face. This richly detailed book represents a triumph of citizen science and the culmination of an intensive research partnership. It will appeal to both amateurs and professionals interested in herpetology, natural history, or ecology, as well as those with a special interest in Maryland’s biodiversity.
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