Tag Archives: amphibians

Episode 41: Postcards from Paraguay



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Forty One!  It is the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, and this weekend also marks the one year anniversary for the So Much Pingle podcast!  And that makes this episode the last of Season One!  Who knows where Season Two will take us?  It’s a mystery to me too.

Patrons!  I want to take the time to thank all of the folks who help to support the show, either through Patreon or other means – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your generosity.  You really do keep this thing rolling.

I also want to thank all of my guests!  So many folks to thank for agreeing to come on the show and talk with me, it’s been a real pleasure talking with each and every one of you.  And also appreciate all of the folks who have taken the time to give me feedback about the show, and suggestions for topics and future guests.  Very important to me and to the show.

This episode comes to you from Paraguay, more precisely from the airport Holiday Inn in downtown Asunción, at the end of a difficult and challenging herp expedition.  I sat down with Devon, Tim, Jake, Dermot, Matt, and our new friend Jose to break down the experience, and thanks to all of those folks for their participation.  And I want to give a shout-out to Josh, Becca, and Rachel, we missed you!

Thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, the correct lyrics for La Bamba, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 40: Carrizo Campfire Tales



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Forty!  I hope you all remain safe and healthy here in this fine month of May, the busiest of months for those of us in North America who enjoy getting out and seeing amphibians and reptiles. I just got back from a trip out west where John, Tim and I drove all over Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah, and we saw a bunch of cool herps, including a dozen or so species that were new to me.  As per usual I bring my mobile recording studio along, in the hopes of recording something interesting, and this trip did not disappoint.

But first, PATRONS!  Here’s a shout-out to new supporter Nick Scobel!  Thank you so much, Nick, for supporting the show, and thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

For this episode, I was fortunate enough to spend a little time on California’s Carrizo Plain with a group doing research and conservation work with the blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila).  After a long day of lizard looking, and lizard lassoing, and lizard processing, I sat around a campfire on a chilly evening and recorded a conversation with Robert Hansen, Emily Taylor, Katie Rock, and Savanna Weaver (They’re all under the lizard in the photo). Bob of course is of course the long-time editor of Herp Review, and you will remember Emily Taylor from Episode Twelve recorded last summer.  I also spoke with Katie Rock about “Quantifying the Gender Gap in Authorship in Herpetology”, an interesting paper that she and her coauthors published in the March 2021 volume of Herpetologica (and is featured on the cover!).  NOTE:  If you don’t have access to the paper, drop me an email to somuchpingle@gmail.com and I will send it to you.  And last but not least, Savannah Weaver gave us the lowdown on the blunt-nosed leopard lizard and her ongoing research project.

Thanks Bob, Emily, Katie and Savannah!  I had such a great time talking with all of you!  Now of course, after listening to the show you’ll want to follow these folks on Twitter:  Emily (@snakeymama), Katie (@KatietheeRock), and Savannah (@ScienceWithSav).

Thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, lizard lasso techniques, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 39: Ecuador Adventures with Ross Maynard



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Nine!  And I hope you all remain safe and healthy as we move towards May, a busy time for herps and herp lovers in many places across the planet.

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new supporters Martin Habecker and Daniel Dye!  Thank you so much for supporting the show, and thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

In this episode, we talk with Ross Maynard about the Rio Mandiriacu Reserve, up in the mountains of northwestern Ecuador.  Now this conversation with Ross hits a lot of marks for me – new species of amphibians, conservation work, and adventure travel in foreign lands, and I hope you enjoy it as well as I did.  Ross works for the Biodiversity Group and he and other members are actively engaged in preserving critical habitat for many poorly known and endangered species in Ecuador.  See the photo gallery below for more images of the reserve, as well as some of the amphibians mentioned on the show, including Rhaebo ollalai and Nymphargus mandiriacu.

I encourage all of my listeners to help the Rio Mandiriacu Reserve project if possible.  You can learn more about the Biodiversity Group here, and you can make direct donations as well.

There is also The Biodiversity Group conservation swag & art shop on Etsy (all products made by Nathalie Aall to raise funds for TBG research efforts), and you can also check out Nathalie’s personal Etsy store for more cool art.

Another way you can contribute is via Cameras for Conservation (for donations of functional cameras and other field equipment for reserve staff and local community members)

Also, be sure to check out Fundación EcoMinga, the NGO that manages the Río Manduriacu Reserve.  EcoMinga’s pages highlight plants and animals from protected reserves, many of them new species, and you get a good idea of what’s at stake here.  Also see Fundación Condor Andino, the NGO that Sebastian Kohn founded and operates (the original land owner of the Manduriacu Reserve–he is responsible for initiating the research and protection of the reserve).

Thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, Yaqui origin stories, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike


Episode 38: Weekend at Armin’s



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Eight of the SMP show!  I hope you all remain safe and healthy, and it’s great to be back after a few weeks off.  I was not idle during that time, I was out in the field for 21 days, and I recorded material for several shows during that time, including this one.

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new supporters Jeremy Schumacher, Neill Jones, and Alec Gordon!  Thank you so much for supporting the show, and thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

Weekend at Armin’s was just that – an opportunity to walk around a large group of field herpers and get some stories from them, while enjoying some fantastic jambalaya and adult beverages.  Thanks once again to everyone who participated – I always appreciate it!

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, Yaqui origin stories, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike


Episode 37: The Epic Toad Episode with Robert Villa



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Seven!   I hope you all remain safe and healthy and hopefully many of you are getting your vaccine doses.  Spring is here where I live and I managed to get the intros and outros recorded for this episode despite a trio of chainsaws working on a tree in the neighbor’s yard.  Tricky timing but done.

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new supporter Tom Eles from Ontario!  Tom took the PayPal option and thank you so much good sir.  Hopefully we will meet again this year.  To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email).

This week’s guest is Robert Villa from Tucson, Arizona. Robert and I have corresponded over the years, and have never met, so I looked forward to having a nice chat with him, and sure did. Robert is interested in all kinds of different subjects and that makes him interesting as well. We talked about so many different things that it is hard to characterize this show, but at the root of it all is the toad, more specifically the Sonoran Desert Toad, and everything else we discussed is related in some way.

During our conversation, Robert and I talked about spotted box turtles (Terrapene nelsoni), and folks, he wrote a great article about them for Medium entitled “Tortuga de la Sierra Madre – My encounter with a cryptic and elusive turtle” and I urge you to check that out.  Robert is also the current president of the Tucson Herpetological Society, and it just so happens that the guest speaker for March will be Gary Nabhan, and the topic will be “Traditional Knowledge and Conservation of Reptiles with the Seri People” which is related to some of the things Robert and I talked about, and that’s a Monday March 22nd Zoom meeting, so check it out!   And finally, for more information and discussion on possible border species between Mexico and the United States’ check out the thread entitled “Possible Country Records for the US” which was created by Don Cascabel on the old Field Herp Forum.

Thanks Robert!   Such a fun talk.

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, Yaqui origin stories, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 36: Snoring Thunder



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Six!  I hope everyone remains happy and healthy as we move into spring here in the northern hemisphere. It is a wild and wooly day out today here in central Illinois, with high winds and freezing rain, but spring will not be denied.

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new Patreon contributors to the show since the last episode:  Jeremiah Easter and Richard Legere!   Thank you Jeremiah, and thank you Richard, and thanks so much to all of my Patreoners for supporting the show! I really appreciate it. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email).

For this week’s episode, I packed up my recording gear and headed to southern Illinois, to participate in another Snoring Thunder adventure.  After a late Thursday night out chasing frogs in the middle of heavy rains, on Friday afternoon I sat down with Justin Michels and Jeremy Schumacher to discuss Snoring Thunder, crawfish frogs, Illinois chorus frogs, and a few other things.  That night we went out again and found a few more crawfish frogs before Justin and I made the long, late night drive back to our homes.

Many thanks to Jeremy and Justin for sitting down with me and having a fun chat.

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, your best frog calls, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike


Episode 35: HerpMX with Jason Jones



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Five!  Apologies for the delay, thanks for your patience, and much warmth and good wishes to everyone.

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new Patreon contributors to the show since the last episode:  William Bone!  Thank you William!   And thanks so much to all of my Patreoners for supporting the show! I really appreciate it. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. And thanks in advance!  One More Important Thing:  If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment and rate the show on your podcast platform – it really helps folks to find the show.

Our guest this week is Jason Jones, one of the cofounders of the HerpMX project.  I’m so grateful to Jason for coming on the show, as HerpMX is a favorite thing of mine, and for many other people as well.  It’s hard to find anyone out there in the herp community who hasn’t heard of Herp MX, and indeed this group has a tremendous following on social media, and for good reason. And if you go to the project’s website, which is simply herpmx, you can dive deep into herp adventure, species quests, scientific knowledge, and herp conservation in Mexico. If I sound like a fanboy it’s because I am one. I love back story – I love the deep details behind amphibians and reptiles, and Jason Jones and the rest of the HerpMX crew do a great job of providing depth and detail.  You can follow HerpMX on Facebook, and the project is also on Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you Jason, and thanks to the entire HerpMX crew for all of the great work!

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 34: Orianne, Indigos and Buzztails with Dr. Chris Jenkins



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Four!  Here’s a shout-out to all of the people in Texas, I hope today finds you recovering from the terrible weather last week.  Much warmth and good wishes to everyone.

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new Patreon contributors to the show since the last episode:  Bill Peterman, Cynthia Samake, and Paul-Erik Bakland!. Thank you Bill and Cynthia and Paul-Erik!   And thanks so much to all of my Patreoners for supporting the show! I really appreciate it. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. And thanks in advance!

Our guest this week is Dr. Chris Jenkins, CEO of the Orianne Society.  In addition to operating Orianne, Chris also hosts the Snake Talk podcast, which is great and I’ve enjoyed listening to about half of the episodes so far, and I also made an appearance on the show with Don Becker to talk about the HerpMapper Project.  Of course I wanted to talk with Chris about Orianne, and about Snake Talk, but we also talked about rattlesnakes!  I’m always down to chat about crotes, and it was good to hear Chris’s perspective on observing and enjoying our buzzy buddies in the wild, and not surprisingly, we share some of the same sentiments about enjoying rattlesnakes in a hands-off manner.

I had a great talk with Dr. Jenkins and I hope you all take the time to visit the Orianne Society’s landing page and see what the organization is all about.  And if you haven’t already done so, check out Snake Talk!  You can reach it via the Orianne page, or search for it on your favorite podcast platform. Thanks for coming on the show, Chris!

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, places you’ve never herped but really want to, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 

 


Episode 33: Obsessed with Amphibians: Jodi Rowley



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Thirty Three!  The polar vortex continues here in east-central Illinois, the mercury is pooled at the bottom of the thermometer, so put on a sweatshirt, make yourself a cuppa, and pull up a piping hot episode about frogs!  Our guest this week is Jodi Rowley, a conservation biologist with the Australian Museum in Sydney.  Jodi has been involved with frog field research in Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other places, and she is also involved with a very cool community science project called FrogID.

On her Facebook page, Jodi describes herself as “a conservation biologist obsessed with amphibians”, which is something a lot of us can identify with.  I’ve enjoyed her enthusiasm and passion for frogs on social media and I was not surprised to have those signals come in loud and clear during our conversation.  Along with her field research, we discussed the Australian FrogID project, which has been tremendously successful in getting ordinary folks involved with recording calling amphibians, and these days, species conservation absolutely requires the attention and involvement of everyone.

Thanks for coming on the show, Jodi!  I had a great time talking about frogs (I guess that’s no surprise to anyone).  And folks, you can follow the FrogID project on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.

PARC:  As I mentioned in the show, here are some links for Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation:  the main PARC page, and a ‘find PARC‘ page with a map that identifies which PARC chapters cover which regions.  Check it out!

PATREONERS!  Thank you so much to all of my Patreoners for supporting the show! I really appreciate it. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. And thanks in advance!

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, frog calls you can learn from home, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 

 

 

 


Episode 32: H-Snakes and Horny Toads with Dusty Rhoads



Hello everyone, and welcome to Episode Thirty Two!  Holy cow it’s cold here (thank you polar vortex!) and I’m just gonna stay inside today.  I’ve got my coffee, I’m thinking of warm places and I’m whispering encouraging words to the furnace, so it’s all good.

Before we get into this week’s episode, I hope you enjoyed Episode 31, the Jargon Episode, and if you liked the panel discussion format, I would love to hear from you about it.  If you have suggestions for another discussion-type show, send them to me and thanks!

PATREONERS!  Here’s a shout-out to new Patreon contributors to the show since the last episode:  David Burkart, and Adam Cooner!. Thank you Dave and  Adam, and thanks so much to all of my Patreoners for supporting the show! I really appreciate it. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. And thanks in advance!

Our guest this week is Dusty Rhoads, a Texan living in Texas, who recently completed his Master’s degree at TCU.  This episode focuses on two of Dusty’s ongoing interests – the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake (Bogertophis subocularis), and the Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum).  So many people (including me) were introduced to the “H-Snake” by reading “The Search for Subocularis“, a chapter in the late Carl Kauffeld’s book Snakes: The Keeper and the Kept.  Our guest Dusty literally wrote the book on Subocs (see photo) and has a book on Texas Horned Lizards coming soon.  I enjoyed our talk and learned quite a bit more about these iconic reptiles, and by the way, Dusty still has copies of his book available (send a note to ‘subocs@gmail.com’).

Thanks for coming on the show, Dusty!  And folks, if you haven’t done so yet, please take the time to rate this podcast on whatever platform you use – that goes a long way to support the show and spread the good word.

And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming!  The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike