Who Are We?
Formed in 1968, the Georgia Herpetological Societies membership is open to anyone with an interest in reptiles and amphibians. Membership is comprised of individuals from the herpetological and herpetocultural fields, hobbyist and the curious. The society is sponsored by the Outdoor Interpretive Office; a section of Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation.
What Does The Society Do?
Each year the society plans a general herpetological mini-symposium in the spring that is comprised of a variety of speakers presenting programs, demonstrations and papers on items relevant to the herpetocultural/herpetological field. Past presentations have included “Captive Care of Freshwater Turtles”, “Reptile Anatomy; Getting To The Heart Of The Matter”, and “The Status and Conservation Of Reptiles in Georgia”.
The society also presents the Georgia Reptile Expo, a two-day reptile and amphibian expo. The expo showcases some of the best breeders from the United States and attendees are able to purchase high quality animals and supplies, all proceeds from this event are used to fund the GHS Reptile Conservation Fund.
Throughout the year the society co-sponsors several reptile and amphibian public displays. The events are coordinated with nature centers, zoological facilities, and museums located throughout Georgia. Each of these events is comprised of our membership displaying reptiles and amphibians and educating the public about the importance of reptile and amphibian conservation. The society is often asked to provide a guest speaker on a reptile or amphibian related topic to a wide range of public meetings, civic events, and other organized settings.
Although education is a mainstay of the society, the membership also participates in several conservation led projects each year. “Herp Hunts” as the events have become known, are Saturday field trips to document and record herp populations found in Georgia.
The society offers its assistance to many nature centers in determining their own herptofaunal survey. Keeping within the boundaries of state and federal agencies, absolutely no collecting is done for the purpose of possession or sales at any sponsored society event. All animals are left where found after a photographic record is made and the exact locations are kept confidential to avoid any outside collectors from benefiting.
The society also plans a yearly “members only” weekend campout in a location within Georgia for herping, learning, fun and fellowship.
On a lighter side, the society holds an annual auction/swap meet where members can bring their captive breeding successes for trade or sales to other members. The auction/swap meet takes place at the societies annual auction and members are encouraged to submit items for bidding. All proceeds go to the operation of the society and additionally fund conservation/education related projects of interest to the society.
A three-person board of directors governs the GHS. The board is comprised of an Executive Director and two additional members who are voted upon by the general membership. The Executive Director appoints additional ad-hoc committee board members on an as needed basis. Ad-hoc positions include the website manager, journal editor, and events director.
Board members are nominated by the executive director or the general membership. Positions are voted upon at the annual holiday party and each term runs for two years. In any year at least one position is open for election.