A little field
with a great deal of fun!
Come join us on September 22nd, 2012, in South
Georgia for our first ever “Places You Have Never Herped” good fun and field
herping competition! This is the start of a bi-annual event where field herpers
come together at different locations around the world to make new friends, see
new places, and test out their herping skills!
The first event will take place September 22, 2012 close to
the towns of Jesup and Ludowici, Georgia along the scenic Altamaha River! The
Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently acquired extensive tracts of
land within this area which hold beautiful and vast bottomland cypress swamps, xeric
sandridges, longleaf pine, hickories and oaks covered in Spanish moss, and
scenic river access points (and yes, some clearcuts as well). Much of this area
has been designated as Wildlife Management Area (WMA), including Townsend WMA
and Griffin Ridge WMA, and offers great terrestrial and aquatic reptile and
amphibian diversity. Some species you may see include Eastern Indigo Snakes,
Eastern Hognose Snakes, Eastern Coachwhips, Ribbon Snakes, Rough Green Snakes, Mudsnakes,
Common Kingsnakes, Scarlet Kingsnakes, Scarlet Snakes, Eastern Diamondback
Rattlesnakes, Pygmy Rattlesnakes, Watersnakes, Eastern Fence Lizards, Ground
Skinks, Southeastern Five-lined Skinks, Broadhead Skinks, Green Anoles, Marbled
Salamander, Dwarf Salamanders, Lesser Sirens, Two-toed Amphiuma, Southern
Toads, Eastern Narrowmouth Toads, Squirrel Tree Frogs, Pinewoods Tree Frogs,
Barking Tree Frogs, Southern Leopard Frogs, Gopher Tortoises, Yellowbellied
Sliders, Spiny Softshells, Florida Softshell, Loggerhead Musk Turtles, and Snapping
Turtles – just to name a few!
Primitive camping (one new bathroom and one new shower
facility) will be available at the rendezvous point at Morgan Lake Wilderness
Campground and RV Park
for $5 at person at the tent sites and $25 a night for an RV site with
electrical hookups. Those of you that want to use RV sites — you should reserve
your spot at the campground as soon as possible. There are numerous tent spots.
Lodging can also be obtained in the towns of Ludowici, Jesup, Hinesville, and
Darien. We recommend showing up the 21st and checking out the 23rd
— stay awhile — we are going to!
We will meet at the Morgan Lake Campground at 8:30 AM on the
22nd to take attendance (we don’t want to lose anyone), point out
some areas that may interest you on the maps, and cover some ground rules.
All field herpers will be sent with maps that designate the
herping area boundaries and points of interest and datasheets. There will be
two winners of this friendly competition; one with the most observations on
their datasheets and the one with the most diversity on their datasheet (sheets
must be filled out completely). Because we are all friends here, things will be
run on the honor system. The winners will be announced at the afternoon BBQ
sponsored by The Orianne Society at the Morgan Lake Campground!
Winners will receive an Orianne Society “Places You Have
Never Herped – Altamaha River Corridor” T-shirt and bragging rights! The final
data points will be sent to the North American Field Herping Association
(NAFHA). Entries accompanied by an identifiable photo will be entered into the
NAFHA HERP Database.
Things you should bring with you for this excursion include
a camera, GPS unit, sunscreen, plenty of water, bug spray, a buddy (no one
should be herping alone) waders, dipnets, fluorescent orange vest (it will be
primitive weapon deer hunting season) and your competitive nature! Also,
because South Georgia is famous for its “sugar sand” roads – a 4 wheel drive
vehicle is recommended, but not a necessity.
Test out your field herping skills in Georgia’s sandridges,
cypress swamps, and longleaf pines. Meet people from all over that share your
interests. Come join us and see what South Georgia herping is all about!