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March 2012

volume 27, issue 3

Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society Inside this issue: Upcoming Events…… 2 General information…….


Letter from the President……………….. 4 Outreach Guidelines & Expectations ………….....…...…. “Going Green “ in the Herp Room ………………..



The Loneliest Frog on Earth……………………. 9

Classifieds…………….. 10 Contacts & Vets……….. 11 Membership Application


Next Meeting: March 11, 2012 Meeting Location: Highline Community College

Board Meeting 4 p.m.

2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, WA

General Meeting: 6 p.m.

Speaker Presentation: Dr. Elizabeth Kamaka of Kamaka Exotic Animal Veterinary Services will be speaking about the “Lizard Dilemmas in Captivity.” Left: Dr. Elizabeth Kamaka demonstrates gifted multi-tasking: PNHS foster chameleon “Missy” in one hand; completing medical reports with the other. Photo by B. Huber

April PNHS Newsletter Deadline: March 29, 2012


Come hear a fascinating presentation!

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Upcoming PNHS Events Pa g e 2 March 3, 2012:

Leap Year Event at Woodland Park Zoo “ L eaping Ahead of Extinction: A celebration of good news for amphibi ans in 2012, ” sponsored by the Amphibian Ark. For more information, go to or .

March 11, 2012:

PNHS Regular Meeting Herp-of-the-Month: “ Green-colored herps ” Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Kamaka of Kamaka Exotic Animal Veterinary Services, Topic: “ Lizard Dilemmas in Captivity”

April 15, 2012:

PNHS Regular Meeting Meeting moved one week due to the Easter holiday. Herp-of-the-Month: “ Monitors ” ( Varanus & subspecies ) Speaker: Billy Graham of Glacier Rodents, Topic: “ Important Considera tions for Moniitors in Captivity. ”

May 20, 2012:

PNHS Regular Meeting Meeting moved one week due to Mother ’ s Day. Herp-of-the-Month: “ Amphibians ” Speaker: Jennifer B. Pramuk, Ph.D., Curator, Woodland Park Zoo

Save The Date! June 2nd—3rd, 2012

Emerald City Reptile Expo Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Come be a part of our biggest show ever!

Vol. 27 No. 2

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General information & guidelines re

PNHS’ Monthly Meetings are a great place to learn something new, purchase feeders at a discount, and meet new people

General Information The Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society (PNHS) is a non-profit organization registered with the State of Washington. PNHS is dedicated to the education of its members and the public, as well as the conservation, ecology, and captive care and breeding of reptiles and amphibians. The society also takes an active role in legislative and environmental issues affecting these animals and their habitats. Meeting Information PNHS holds its general meeting on the third Sunday of every month (with exceptions for holidays) at 6:00pm at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Building 12 Room 101. The Board meeting begins at 4:00pm. Doors open at 5:30. Other business and socialization occurs between 5:30 and 6; then the General Meeting starts. Meetings are open to the public, and the society encourages anyone with an interest in herpetology to attend. Please purchase a membership to show your support for the society. Animal Donations Looking to adopt, release an animal or donate cages and equipment? Please contact the Adoptions Committee by email at, or by voicemail at 206- 583-0686. We will contact you and make arrangements. Other Donations The Adoption Committee receives minimal financial support from the Society, so donations of money, food, cages, and equipment are always needed and appreciated. Please contact the Adoption Chair to make a donation. Adoptions To adopt an animal that is in the care of the Committee, you must be present at the meeting, be a current member (of at least one month), and be over 18 years of age or have parental consent. For more details see the web site or contact the Adoption Chair. Newsletter Information A monthly newsletter absorbs the lion’s share of the price of a PNHS membership. In order to keep it interesting, we encourage contribution of original articles, book reviews, letters, ads, and cartoons for publication. Items for incorporation into articles are also welcome, though with no guarantee of their use. Submissions may be sent to the Newsletter Committee or to the Society through the contacts listed on the following page.

Above: Both Green Tree Python Photos courtesy of the Adams’ Family.

Editorial Policy The views expressed in this publication are solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the Society, its members, or the Newsletter Committee. The Newsletter Committee reserves the right to edit all submissions including advertisements.

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Letter from the President By Brenda Huber

Vol. 27, No.3

Canary in a Coal Mine March heralds a new season with the official start of Spring. Brumation ending; bring on the green. It is also the beginning of a rare urban treasure hunt: amphibian egg mass spotting. A new partnership between Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Woodland Park Zoo, Northwest Trek, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has launched: “Amphibian Egg-Mass Monitoring” calls on the participation of volunteer “Citizen Scientists” to collect data in King and Pierce Counties. The goal of the project is to conduct visual encounter surveys in stillwater habitats to inventory the presence of eight specific amphibian species: the Western Toad, the Northwest Salamander, the Northern Red-legged Frog, the Pacific Tree Frog (a.k.a. Pacific Chorus Frog,) the Oregon Spotted Frog, the Rough-Skinned Newt, the Long-Toed Salamander, and the American Bullfrog.

“It’s not easy being green...”

Why is this important?

Amphibians are an “Indicator Species.” They are much like the old adage, “canary in a coal mine,” referring to the old practice of keeping an actual live canary caged inside a coal mine in order to warn coal miners (by the canary’s death) of the presence of dangerous - Kermit gases that could be harmful to humans. The presence of healthy amthe Frog phibians signifies a healthy ecosystem. Healthy ecosystems = healthy planet. (Only those residing on the planet need be concerned.) Amphibian decline and/or the prevalence of mass amphibian deformities mean we have a significant environmental problem. There are 27 amphibian species in Washington, including the endangered Oregon Spotted Frog. The species list includes 13 different salamanders, 11 different frogs, 1 species of newt, and 2 non-native invasive frogs. The monitoring project only includes the eight species listed above. Continued...

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Pa g e 5 Letter From The President Continued….

Want to help? If you want to assist trained amphibian monitoring project volunteers, send me an email. . If you’d prefer to stay a little drier, there are many things you can do to help amphibians:

Above: Teresa “Hawkeye” Ruzzamenti and Jerry “The Inventor” Harter looking for amphibian egg masses at their designated pond in Seattle. 2.25.12

Protect existing habitat;

Landscape naturally;

Create a pond (see backyardpond for details) and either create or purchase a “toad abode” for the amphibians; 

Check out the “Amphibian Ark” (coming to ECRE 2012) at, and FrogwatchUSA at 

- Brenda Huber, PNHS President

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” - William Shakespeare

Above: Citizen scientist Teresa Ruzzamenti (a.k.a. “Hawkeye”) checks the identification of the egg mass she discovered, and positively matches Northwestern Salamander eggs. WPZ/WDFW Training Day, 2.25.12 Photo courtesy of B. Huber.

Vol. 27, No. 3

Outreach Guidelines and Expectations By Aimee Kenoyer

Hey PNHS – we have picked up a ton of new people since the last time we reviewed and discussed Outreach Guidelines as a group. For 2012, we have a new Outreach Coordinator, a new ECRE venue, and many new faces … so let’s take a moment to talk about Outreach. This set of guidelines was written by our past Outreach Coordinator, Mr. Dave Alverson. Every word is still relevant, and this is reproduced here in its entirety: First and foremost, these are PNWHS events. We attend as representatives of the Society as a whole and must be a member in good standing at the time of the presentation. An apprentice/assistant can come to help with handling and presenting animals belonging to the member but cannot bring their own animals. It is the members’ responsibility to ensure their assistant is providing correct information Presenters must sign up, either by Forum post, email, phone, or sign up list; at least 24 hours in advance for the outreach. We understand that there will be times when someone can’t make it to an outreach they have signed up for. If not able to attend, please inform the outreach coordinator as soon as possible so that other arrangements, if needed, can be made. The Society and its membership attend outreaches by invitation. Any presenter who is asked to leave an outreach, either by the host or by the senior member in attendance, and not doing so will not be invited to attend future outreaches and risks their membership in the Society. We recognize that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in our younger membership and encourage their participation whenever possible. Minors, however, need to be accompanied by adults responsible for their guardianship. Unless those adults are presenting animals “Know what your they need not be members of the Society. Presenting adults who bring their children are responsible for both their anianimal is capable mals and their children. The health and safety of our animals, our membership and our community of…” as a whole are of the utmost importance. Please be considerate of other  Dave Alverson, members in attendance by not bringing animals with known or suspected health issues. Animals that are aggressive either by nature or individual PNHS VP 2008-2011 temperament are welcome for display but may not be the best candidates for direct interaction with the public. Know what your animal is capable of and how to prevent or protect against biting, clawing or any other aggressive or defensive reactions that could result in injury to any person or animal in attendance. It is appropriate to be a defender and advocate for your animals by monitoring how it is being treated by anyone you allow to handle them. Outreaches are an educational opportunity. While it is not expected to be expert on all aspects of your animal it is important that information, especially where care and husbandry is concerned, is accurate. Be prepared to talk about how to keep your animals healthy and happy. Come early enough to set up and stay late enough to clean up. Clean up after your animal. Be respectful to all those in attendance. Most of all, come out and have fun sharing your passion with others! (Initially published on PNHS’ forums page and on our main website in 01/2009.)


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Outreach Guidelines, Continued... I would like to add a few things to this most excellent list. Dave’s guidelines primarily cover how to conduct yourself at an Outreach, but there are a few other things to consider. In light of our understanding about reptile diseases and how they’re transmitted, I have a few personal safeguards I implement to maintain the health of my collection, and I wanted to share this here. Accidents happen, mistakes are made, and we can’t often be 100% sure of the health status of our critters. In my opinion, the best way to approach public events with my reptiles is to assume everyone’s animals are ill and contagious – including my own. A little extreme? Perhaps – but I have been fortunate enough to not bring anything unwanted home to my collection. First and foremost, don’t be afraid to speak up on behalf of your animals. If you feel that someone else’s animals are crowding yours, or that a member of the public is a little too grabby with your animal, speak up! If you’re not certain how to do so in a polite and professional manner, ask an outreach veteran for some tips on the best way to handle this smoothly. How to prep your animals for an outreach: First, before packing her up, make sure she appears alert and healthy. If this is animal that likes to defecate when handled, consider a quick soak before packing them up, to get this messy problem taken care of at home where it’s easy to clean. If it doesn’t happen, that’s OK – there’s always that kid that thinks it’s cool when a herp poops at an Outreach. Just please do your best to clean it up promptly. Another thing that I like to do with my snakes, to prevent the spread of mites, is to spray the pillow-case and/or tub I use for transport. Usually I will put the pillowcase(s) in a bin and spray with Prevent-A-Mite (PAM) the night before, so there is plenty of time for the chemical to dry. This way, if I’m at an Expo or other busy Outreach where someone may have mites on their clothing from handling an infected snake, it will die before it has time to lay eggs on my snake, or to crawl under the scales. One thing to consider in the use of PAM is that it is not appropriate for some species (Hognose, Brazilian Rainbow Boa) but there are other alternatives. Also, PAM is toxic if not used correctly! Read and follow the instructions for safe usage. Common sense dictates transporting your animal in a container that is secure from escape, in a comfortable temperature range, and safe. Hand sanitizer – your best friend: PNHS buys several liters of hand-sanitizer every year for use at Outreaches – use it! Don’t be shy if members of the public seem reluctant; if they won’t sanitize, don’t let them touch your animal. We use the specific type of sanitizer recommended to our group after consulting with Dr. Adolf Maas, after an IBD outbreak the greater Seattle area several years ago. Our sanitizer is easier on reptiles and more effective on viruses than alcohol-based sanitizers, so it won’t harm your herptile. Outreach etiquette, take II: Dave addressed this very well, but I would like to reiterate and reemphasize a few points. Please don’t bring your animal if it’s sick. Please don’t drape your snake around the neck of a member of the public, ever. Please don’t bring your animal if it has an uncertain temperament. Also, recognize that even Pig can have a bad day – that stalwart rockstar wasn’t in the mood for interacting with the public at an Outreach once, so I put her away and pulled out an alternate. Respect that your animal just might not be feelin’ it that day, and so whenever possible bring at least one alternative animal. Outreaches need to be fun for you, for me, for our animals, and to the attending members of the public! A handful of easy common-sense measures and a little forethought can ensure safe and enjoyable Outreaches for everyone. -A.Kenoyer

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“Going Green” in the Herp Room By Nate Swanson, Seattle Reptiles Reptiles can sense and feel the ambient temps in our Washington atmosphere and are quick to stop feeding, become less active, and maybe even hibernate when they shouldn’t. Many of these issues can be resolved by simply devoting a room, or even enclosing a portion of a room by making a false wall with drop cloth sheeting, or plastic (visqueen, 6 mm and black is best.) One technique for keeping electricity costs down that many breeders and keepers use is the “Reptile Room.” I have seen many people keep their heat off all year if possible, but they have a leopard gecko in the living room, and tortoises in the den, etc. These lights aren’t always on; and you know what that means: CHILLY! I have known people to keep reptiles in their garage all year, however, doing so wastes a lot of heat that could instead be directed to your house. Not everyone has an extra room, so I understand this isn’t feasible for everyone. Just imagine if you had about 4/100 watt bulbs going in one room, you can raise the ambient room temperature by as much as 15 degrees. Get an inexpensive temperature gun, which will save you money and time. These are relatively inexpensive (under $30.00) and well worth the investment.

Calculating actual electricity costs: I had just put a 250 watt red bulb in with the Sulcatas in the greenhouse, and thought to myself, ”Is this going to get expensive?”

Here is the calculation from PUD: Wattage=250 Daily Usage =24 hours Monthly =30 days multiply all and divide by 1,000 THEN multiply by 8.4 cents per kWh or .084 250 (30x24) /1,000 x.084 =$15.12 Make sense? WATTS




$/kWh ( may vary)

Cost to run

450 watts 9, 16 watt UVB Bulbs and

18 12

30 30

1,000 1,000

.084 .084

20.41 6.17

150 watt bulb






Feel free to post comments or questions on our Seattle Reptiles Facebook page. - Nate Swanson Find us on Facebook!

Vol. 27, No. 3

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Loneliest Frog in the World: The Last of his Kind Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog Reprinted with permission from HerpDigest, Vol. 12 #9, 2/19/12.

Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia: There were believed to be just two Rabbs' Fringe-Limbed Tree Frogs left on Earth after a fungus killed off their species in the wild. A Rabbs' Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog is the loneliest little amphibian in the world after the only other one of his kind croaked. There were believed to be just two left on Earth after a fungus killed off their species in the wild. But zoo officials in Atlanta, Georgia said they had to put down one frog due to ill health. That leaves just one remaining example of the species, living in the botanical garden in Atlanta. Amphibian populations are declining around the world and some of the last survivors of Central America’s once rich diversity of frogs now exist only in captivity. The species was identified by Zoo Atlanta's herpetology curator Joseph Mendelson during a 2005 trip to Panama. He hopes that they can preserve genetic material from the deceased frog to help to study the species. He said: “Had the frog passed away overnight when no staff members were present, we would have lost any opportunity to preserve precious genetic material.“To lose that chance would have made this extinction an even greater tragedy in terms of conservation, education and biology.” The Rabbs’ Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog has not been observed in the wild since 2007 and is believed to be extinct. Zoo Atlanta is a leader in the effort to combat the crisis of global amphibian decline.


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For Sale: Radiated Tortoises 3 yearling females (sexed via endoscopy) Studbook Registered $2,000.00 each or 3 for $5,500.00 1 large male (weighs 29 lbs.) $4,500.00 1 young adult male $4,000.00 Out-of-state sale only to CBW Permit holder Contact: (206) 363-0162 Join the Global Gecko Association Today! The GGA is a six year old international organization dedicated to the needs of all people interested in geckos. Members receive the twice-yearly, full-color journal, “Gekko”, plus “Chit-Chat”, our quarterly newsletter. Annual Membership is $32 US, $34 Canada/Mexico, $36 Overseas. Email: (503)-436-1064 or

Feeder Insects & Rodents

Bean Farm’s Creative Habitats Slide-Top Aquariums

I have superworms, giant mealworms, and lots more! Plus, I now carry frozen rodents.

Various sizes available.

Order in advance: special pricing for PNHS members,,as well as quantity discounts!

We can deliver the cages to the meetings, as well as any other item from the Bean Farm catalogue.

For pick up and PNHS meeting delivery.

Please contact us by the Friday before the meeting in order for items to be delivered. Thank you!

Jennifer Sronce (425) 750-0477

Paula & Giovani Fagioli (877) 708-5882


Advertise in the PNHS Newsletter! Business Card .............................$5 Quarter Page................................$10 Half Page ....................................$15 Full Page .....................................$25 If you would like to place an ad in the PNHS newsletter, please contact: GET PUBLICITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS & SUPPORTING PNHS!

Vol. 27, No. 2

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Contact Information PNHS P.O. Box 27542


Seattle, WA 98165


General information: 206-628-4740

Area Representatives N King & Snohomish

Brenda Huber 206-334-7168

S King & Pierce

Dale Drexler

Greater Seattle

Aimee Kenoyer 206-200-1240

Peninsula, Island

Troy Barnhatt


Elizabeth Freer 503-436-1064


Officers for 2012 President

Brenda Huber

Vice President

Brandon Winter


Rachel Shirk


Dale Drexler


Teresa Montoya

Membership Secretary Geoff Sweet


Ted Adams

David Brunnelle Carol Dean

Matt Lee

Julie Sharkey

Adoptions Coordinator Rachel Shirk

Event Coordinator

Norm Hill

Newsletter Editor

Marian Huber


Geoff Sweet

Find us on FACEBOOK!

Recommended EXOTIC VETS Dr. Tracy Bennett

Dr. Elizabeth Kamaka

Dr. Adolf Maas

Dr. Daniel Lejnieks

Bird & Exotic Clinic of Seattle

Kamaka Exotic Animal Veterinary Services

The Center For Bird & Exotic Animal Medicine

4019 Aurora Ave. N.

23914—56th Ave. W. #3

11401 NE 195th St.

Seattle, WA 98107

Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

Bothell, WA 98011

(206) 783-4538

(425) 361-2183

(425) 486-9000


To join PNHS, please print & complete the following application, enclose your yearly or multi-yearly membership fee and return to: PNHS Membership Secretary P.O. Box 27542 Seattle, WA 98165 Membership applications and fees may also be received at the monthly meetings by the Membership Secretary. With your yearly or multi-year membership fee you will receive the monthly PNHS E-Newsletter, access to membership pricing for adoption animals, and the opportunity to participate in the many outreaches and special “Members Only” events held throughout the year.

Please select one of the options below:

Please select your preferred membership category: Individual Membership (One person)

Family Membership (1-2 parents + Children)

Institutional Membership (Institutions/Organizations)

Correspondence Membership (E-Newsletter Only)

Above: Kids are intent on everything Board Member Geoff Sweet has to say at an outreach in Duvall, 2005.

Please select the format in which you would like to receive your newsletter: Today’s Date: ___________________________________________________________ Name(s) (please print clearly): ______________________________________________ Parent or Guardian (if member is a minor): ___________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________ City: ____________________________________ State: _____ Zip: ______________ Email Address: ________________________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________________________________ Would you be interested in volunteering for PNHS: YES / NO Please make checks payable to PNHS. Thank you! PNHS only: Membership Expiration Date: _______________________ Contacted: ____

March 2012 PNHS Newsletter  

Montrhly newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society