Midwest PARC project teams and members collaborate on products throughout the year. Our goal is for these products to be practical and help advance our understanding of amphibian and reptile conservation and management.

Check out MW PARC products by clicking on the links below.

Field Herpetology Etiquette

Searching for reptiles and amphibians in their natural habitat can be an educational and rewarding pastime. However, over-collecting for the pet trade, habitat destruction, and emerging diseases are all very real threats to our herpetological fauna. Before you venture out, please consider the following tips. It is our responsibility to protect both the animals and their habitat.

Download a PDF of MW PARC's Field Etiquette.

Cover image of Habitat Management Guidelines for the Midwest
Habitat Management Guidelines, 2 ed.

Habitat alteration, fragmentation and loss are collectively considered to be the primary challenges to the viability of many populations of amphibians and reptiles (herps). In 2002, Midwest PARC was the first region to publish a regional habitat management guidelines (HMG) book for amphibians and reptiles. This award-winning series now covers most of the United States, providing proactive guidance for improving the compatibility of land management practices with herps in mind. The Midwest HMG was revised and expanded in 2012.

Download a PDF of The HMG for the Midwest.

Blanding's Turtle Conservation Assessment 2010

The Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a medium-sized freshwater turtle documented from 10 of the 14 states in the Midwest. The 2010 MW PARC meeting focused on the biology, conservation, and management of Blanding's Turtles, which is where the results of the Conservation Assessment Survey were first presented. 

Download a PDF of the 2010 Blanding's Turtle Assessment.

Fire and Herps 2008

Prescribed fire is a useful tool for helping to manage habitat by impeding successional change and controlling invasive plants. Consequently, it is also valuable for increasing suitable habitat for amphibians and reptiles. Under some circumstances, though, fire can also be damaging to resident populations of reptiles and amphibians. In response to discussions at the 2008 annual meeting, MW PARC developed this white paper outlining the concerns and recommendations for prescribed burning and herps. David Mifsud ( was the leader of this task team.

Download a PDF of the 2008 Prescribed Burning Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles.

Raccoons and Herps 2008

Increased populations of subsidized predators can have detrimental effects on some herp species. In response to discussions at the 2008 annual meeting, MWPARC developed a white paper outlining the concerns and recommendations for dealing with raccoons. The leader of this task team was Kent Bekker (

Download a PDF of the 2008 Raccoon and Turtle Conservation document (and associated literature).

Turtle Regulations 2008

In response to discussions about turtle regulations at the 2008 annual meeting, MWPARC conducted a review and comparison of the state regulations governing turtles in the Midwest. 

Download a PDF of the turtle regulations as of 2008.