Projects

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CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGY OF THE EASTERN INDIGO SNAKE (Drymarchon couperi)

From 1998-present, I have conducted mark-recapture studies of eastern indigo snakes in Georgia. These data continue to illuminate our knowledge of the species' status and distribution, growth rates, and survival/longevity (see "Publications"). I have worked to develop the best field survey methods for this impressive snake, and am a co-author of the Eastern Indigo Snake Recovery Plan Revision (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, In prep.).

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GOPHER TORTOISE (Gopherus polyphemus) Surveys and Translocations
Download Project Paper

Having worked with gopher tortoises and in tortoise habitats since 1990, I have a wide breadth of expertise with this keystone species. I am especially experienced with the methods related to surveying tortoises and have conducted (in Georgia, Florida) a number of large-scale tortoise translocations (50-100+ individuals trapped and relocated at each of these sites).

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STATUS OF THE STRIPED NEWT
(Notophthalmus perstriatus) Project Date: 2015-2017
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I was part of a team that investigated the historic/contemporary distribution of the striped newt. This longleaf pine sandhill endemic is a candidate for federal listing.

Farmer, A.L., K.M. Enge, J.B. Jensen, D.J. Stevenson, and L.L. Smith. 2017. A range-wide assessment of the status and distribution of the striped newt (Notophtalmus perstriatus). Herpetological Conservation and Biology: Farmer, A.L., K.M. Enge, J.B. Jensen, D.J. Stevenson, and L.L. Smith. 2017. A range-wide assessment of the status and distribution of the striped newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus). Herpetological Conservation and Biology 12(3): 585−598.

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DISTRIBUTION, ECOLOGY AND STATUS OF THE SAY'S SPIKETAIL DRAGONFLY
Project Date: 1996-present   Download project paper

I have studied this remarkable dragonfly since 1996. It can accurately be treated as a longleaf pine ecosystem endemic, as all known locations for this "snake doctor" are perennial seepages, complete with red and/or mud salamanders (Pseudotriton spp.), at the base of the xeric longleaf sandhills. Adult Say's Spiketails forage in sandhills, preferring wasps! I recently completed a status survey for this species funded by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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THE HERPETOFAUNA OF THE ALTAMAHA RIVER, GEORGIA
Project Date: 1996-present   Download project paper

The wild and beautiful Altamaha River region of southern Georgia is home to 100 species of amphibians and reptiles, including a number of rare and declining species. The river is a notable biogeographic influence on the distribution of many species. Interestingly, and based on 20-plus years of field surveys, it appears that cottonmouths are absent from floodplain swamps along most of this river.

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SURVEYS FOR THE SUWANNEE RIVER ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLE IN GEORGIA
Project Date: 2016-present

I am assisting herpetologists with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources conduct a distributional survey for this magnificent reptile. Preliminary field work in 2016 extended the known range of Macrochelys suwanniensis in Georgia (where it inhabits the Alapaha and Little River drainages) farther upstream than had previously been documented.

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PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF THE MUD AND RAINBOW SNAKES - (Farancia spp.)

Along with scientists at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, I am studying the genetic structure of two clandestine and remarkably odd Coastal Plain snake species. Both are highly aquatic, and both are dietary specialists: mud snakes (Farancia abacura) eat elongate salamanders (amphiumas, sirens); rainbow snakes F. erytrogramma) consume American eels. Other aquatic snake species exhibit population structure coinciding with biogeographic barriers.