HERPETOFAUNAL ATLAS POLICY1. Ownership and use of data
Data submitted to the Eastern Ontario Herpetofaunal Atlas (EOHA) will become the property of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (and partners). Distribution or species occurrence maps produced using these data may not be reproduced for publication without the consent of the EOHA program. Data submitted to the EOHA will be peer-reviewed for accuracy and completeness by expert herpetologists. The EOHA reserves the right to include or exclude data based on the quality (completeness and accuracy) of the data.
The EOHA reserves the right to contact atlas participants for additional information. Unless you indicate otherwise to us in writing, you accept that your name may be included in data summaries, reports or any data product derived from the atlas database where appropriate. Personal information of participants (including address, email, and phone number) will be used for the above-mentioned purposes only. Personal information will not be shared with third parties, and will only be available to the atlas partner institutions and their staff or volunteers.
3. Injury liability
As a volunteer participant in the EOHA you are fully responsible for your own safety, and for your own personal insurance in case of injury. You are not considered an employee of the EOHA, the Eastern Ontario Model Forest, or any of our partners or sponsors. We are also not responsible for damage incurred to vehicles, equipment, or personal belongings.
1. Respect the welfare of the animals and their habitats
- Reptiles and amphibians should not be captured and handled during surveys for the EOHA. Handling these species can cause stress or injury to the animals, and it is illegal to harass (capture) most species of reptiles and amphibians under the provincial Endangered Species Act, the federal Species at Risk Act, and the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
- When identifying or photographing a species, ensure that you do not cause unnecessary stress to the animal by getting too close or lingering for a long time.
- Take all precautions necessary to avoid damage to the habitat of the species you are searching for. Never trample sensitive areas, remove vegetation, or alter habitat in any way during surveys, and stay on trails and roads where they exist. Never drive ATVs or any vehicles off-road, as this inevitably leads to the destruction of habitat, especially in sensitive areas such as wetlands. It is illegal to damage or destroy habitat of Threatened and Endangered Species, and such actions are contrary to the conservation focus of this project.
- Never make the locations of rare species publicly available. Poaching is a serious threat to many species of reptiles in Ontario, and if the locations of populations become widely known this predisposes them to extirpation from poaching. Detailed location information should only be reported to the EOHA, other recognized conservation programs, and appropriate government agencies, such as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada, or Parks Canada.
2. Respect property rights
- Follow all laws and regulations when surveying private and public property. When surveying in provincial parks, national parks or other privately owned reserves, please ensure that you comply with the permitted activities for those properties.
3. Conduct yourself in a professional manner
- Remember that you are representing the Herpetofaunal Atlas project and that your actions influence people's perceptions of the project and other volunteers. Always be courteous and polite when conversing with private landowners or other individuals that you encounter while surveying.
- If you are participating in a group survey, help those with less experience to actively participate. This will make the experience much more valuable for those individuals and will allow them to make future contributions to the project.
- If you are in a group, be respectful of other people's interests and limitations.
4. Encourage reptile and amphibian stewardship
- Public outreach and education is a critical part of reptile and amphibian conservation. Please take the time to explain the atlas project to interested people and encourage them to participate.
- Discuss reptile and amphibian conservation with others and provide information about local species, conservation issues, threats, and stewardship opportunities.
Assistance for this project was provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources
This project is supported by Ontario Nature