Conservation Conversations about Amphibians and Reptiles

By Kris Kendell, ACA

In today’s modern world, we barely have time to pause and reflect on how far technology has progressed to help us do our jobs as biologists and further our causes as naturalists. One of the greatest advancements has been in communication. For most of us within our careers and personal lives this means email, an easy and often spontaneous method for communication. More recently, telephone conversations between individuals and groups have been replaced with web conferencing or webinars that allow us to sit comfortably at our own computer while being connected to others, including presenters, via the internet.

Way of the dodo

With escalating travel costs and seemingly ever busy schedules, it is no surprise we view computer mediated communication devices more favourably. In fact, face-to-face meetings seem to have gone the way of the dodo, especially when travel is required. Nonetheless, computer-based mechanisms for communication have greatly advanced wildlife and habitat conservation and research.

Maybe I suffer from a bit of technophobia or perhaps email exhaustion, or I just prefer talking to a person, in person. We all know the long list of benefits of a face-to-face meeting. I actually welcome such meetings that demand my attention in a way which emails sitting quietly on my computer do not. They also make it incredibility difficult for us to multi-task and divert our attention because there is no monitor or telephone to hide behind!


Recognizing the value of a face-to-face meeting, the Alberta Amphibian and Reptile Specialist Group (AARSG) has convened every year since its inception in the late 1990s. The group is chaired by Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) and consists of a network of scientists, biologists, educators and naturalists, representing government and non-government organizations that are dedicated to the study and conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Alberta.

Our vision is to share and promote knowledge and understanding of ecological and conservation issues facing Alberta’s native amphibians and reptiles. We work towards this vision by meeting in a roundtable setting that allows for the efficient free exchange of ideas and information on a variety of research and conservation issues relating to amphibians and reptiles in Alberta. AARSG membership is informal and is available to individuals participating in amphibian and reptile conservation, education, and research in Alberta.

Over the years, we have explored a diverse array of topics and issues relating to amphibians and reptiles in the province, including concepts for new research projects. Many of our meetings involve short presentations on the types of herpetofauna research and projects that are planned, underway, or have been recently concluded. Through our meetings, we ultimately hope to increase collaboration between individuals and organizations, resulting in greater awareness of herpetofauna-related issues and increased success of related conservation-oriented studies, initiatives, and projects.

For more information about the AARSG, please contact:

Kris Kendell (ACA)