The Carolina Herp Atlas: An online, citizen-science approach to document amphibian and reptile occurrences

Steven J. Price, Michael E. Dorcas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Despite effectiveness in other scientific disciplines, citizen scientists have generally been underutilized in herpetological research and conservation. In this paper, we detail the project design, preliminary results, and data obtained from an online, citizen-science based herpetological atlas, known as the Carolina Herp Atlas (CHA). The CHA contains several features that ensure quality of submitted data, while allowing registered users to keep a personal database, and to employ a variety of data visualization tools such as species distribution maps, charts, tables, photos, and other information on North and South Carolina's amphibians and reptiles. From 1 March 2007 to 22 September 2009, the CHA totaled 698 registered users and received 15,626 amphibian and reptile occurrence records. Specifically, distribution data for 32 frogs, 51 salamanders, 38 snakes, 12 lizards, 16 turtles, and the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) were obtained, with most commonly reported group being snakes (5,349 records). Additionally, several records of amphibians and reptiles considered priority species by North and South Carolina were contributed to the CHA. By gathering data from a large number of citizen scientists across large spatial scales, the CHA represents an important step in allowing the public to become involved in documenting occurrences of herpetofauna.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalHerpetological Conservation and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Atlas
  • Citizen-science
  • Conservation
  • Herpetofauna
  • North carolina
  • South carolina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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