Larry Kamees works on Rare Herps and Amphibians on Kirtland. He has found: Global declines of some amphibian (Alford and Richards, 1999; Young et al., 2001; Lips et al., 2005; Stuart et al., 2004) and reptile (Gibbons et al.,2000) populations call for the need to establish long-term monitoring programs to track population trends of these wildlife species (Marsh and Goicochea, 2003)
and to correct these trends. It is estimated that 48% of amphibian species and 52% of reptile species in the United States are listed as being of conservation concern by various government agencies (Mitchell et al., 1999). Given that even fairly undisturbed habitats are exhibiting herpetofauna declines, it is imperative that baseline inventories, distribution, and relative abundance are established so positive or negative trends can be determined. Once a baseline is established, monitoring on some scale can continue while incorporating climatic variables in an attempt to show a correlation.
Kirtland AFB encompasses more than 52,000 acres with 4 main plant communities including grassland, Piñon-Juniper woodland, Ponderosa Pine woodland, and riparian/wetland/arroyo with a number of sub-communities within these. With such an expansive area efforts will be divided among 3 years. During the 2011 field season (April-October) survey efforts were centered in the grassland and Piñon-Juniper woodlands, however, opportunistic observations in all habitats are also included. Results for the first season have produced a total of 17 species including 13 reptiles and 2 amphibians (6 snake species, 7 lizard species, 4 species of amphibian).