Specialists in Endangered and Threatened Plants and Animals
HA Capabilities & Specialties
Herpetological Associates, Inc. (HA) has offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. We can provide a full range of consulting services to businesses, industries, utility companies, governmental agencies, nonprofit conservation groups, and citizens groups. We are a professional corporation that can help clients with habitat evaluations, plant and wildlife inventories, and environmental impact statements.
Specific staff expertise is with federal- and state-listed endangered and threatened (E&T) plant and wildlife species. Herpetology, ornithology, and botany remain our principal areas of specialization, yet we also conduct surveys for fish, butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies.
In New Jersey, a majority of our work has been helping clients with the preparation of CAFRA (Coastal Area Facility Review Act) applications to the Bureau of Coastal Project Review, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and applications to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission. We have also worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-276 and I-95 Interchange Project, and for the City of Philadelphia at the Philadelphia International Airport. Likewise in New York we carried out E&T species surveys in Dutchess, Orange, Richmond, and Rockland Counties. Some of the major projects were E&T species surveys for the expansion of Stewart International Airport, and presence or absence surveys for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company.
Mitigation is an important component of our firms capabilities. We have pioneered the creation of artificial snake hibernacula (dens) and amphibian breeding ponds for mitigation and habitat improvement. Environmentally sensitive golf course design is a particular interest, and we have provided successful mitigation plans on several golf courses in New York, New Jersey, and Delaware dealing with E&T species protection. In addition, we specialize in the design and implementation of wildlife management plans for both developers and nonprofit conservation groups.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Programs (NJDEP), includes several Herpetological Associates, Inc. staff members as Primary Venomous Snake Monitors. Robert T. Zappalorti, Executive Director of HA, is a recognized Venomous Snake Instructor and a Primary Venomous Snake Monitor. In addition, the following HA staff members are also recognized by the NJDEP as Primary Venomous Snake Monitors: Raymond Farrell, HAs New York Regional Manager; Matthew McCort, HAs Northern New Jersey Regional Manager/Herpetologist; David Schneider, HAs Southern New Jersey Regional Manager/Herpetologist; and Bill Callaghan, HAs Senior Field Technician/Herpetologist.
All HA staff members are cross-trained to safely capture and handle venomous snakes. We also have experience in conducting habitat evaluations, den monitoring, and the use of specific sampling techniques in an attempt to locate rattlesnakes in their dens or at other nearby basking or foraging sites. HAs team members are recognized as a professionals qualified to conduct habitat evaluations, presence or absence studies, and environmental impact studies with respect to the state endangered timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and the northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen), a species of special concern. Both of these species are known to occur in portions of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As such, state and federal fish and wildlife agencies require utility companies to have Primary Venomous Snake Monitors present during all construction and repair work on their right-of-ways.
Herpetological Associates, Inc., has been conducting bog turtle surveys and research since 1977. All HA staff are trained and experienced biologists in general, and are specialists in bog turtles and wood turtles. All staff have been expertly trained by Robert Zappalorti, who has extensive experience and has worked with numerous bog turtle biologists throughout the eastern United States for over 35 years. Robert Zappalorti, Ray Farrell, Tessa Bickhart, and Michael Torocco have all been recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as qualified bog turtle experts in multiple states, and they routinely perform Phase I, II, and III surveys.
A brief description of HA Staff bog turtle experience is as follows: Robert Zappalorti conducted surveys and studies on bog turtles in New Jersey and North Carolina beginning in the 1973, prior to founding Herpetological Associates, Inc., in 1977. In 1992 he began intensive bog turtle surveys and nesting behavior/predator studies for the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Ray Farrell and Robert Zappalorti conducted the 19781979 and 19881989 bog turtle survey for the New Jersey Endangered & Nongame Species Program. HA has assisted our clients by providing consultation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) on numerous development projects. HA has also pioneered various turtle-trapping techniques and has provided important data and training sessions to the USFWS, NJDEP, PFBC, and various bog turtle biologists.
HAs experience with bog turtle ecology and behavior, including radiotelemetry and mark/recapture studies for TNC between 1992 and 2005, has given HA the knowledge to make quick and accurate judgements on the presence or absence of bog turtles and the suitability of bog turtle habitat. HAs research (including Phase I, II, and III survey techniques) with bog turtles has been held in high regard by the PFBC, NJDEP, and the USFWS, and we are one of the few consultant firms qualified to perform trapping of bog turtles (Phase III surveys).