More than 218 individual specimens representing 31 species of reptiles, amphibians, and turtles were found during the annual fall field trip of the Kansas Herpetological Society earlier this month in Elk County.
The most exciting discovery, according to KHS President-elect Suzanne L. Collins, was a ground snake.
"The ground snake is a small harmless snake that had not been previously recorded in Elk County," she said. "Its presence, and that of other species, provides us with new information about the herpetofauna of the area."
Seventy-one members and friends of the Society met at Howard City Lake for the two-day field count. Participants walked the prairie around the lake, as well as nearby private property where permission to conduct a wildlife survey had been granted. Specimens were captured, identified, sometimes photographed and released.
Some field trip participants traveled from as far as Nebraska and Hays and were professional herpetologists, biologists and teachers. Others were local residents of Elk County.