Ecological Role and Importance of Native Amphibians and Reptiles for Control and Management of Invasive Species in Gardens and Natural Areas

Amphibians and reptiles are recognized as key biological indicators of environmental health and critical members of healthy functioning ecosystems. As many species hold mid-level positions in food webs, they are important consumers of various invertebrate and vertebrate species that are considered harmful or destructive to native ecosystems and gardens. Often native species of amphibian and reptiles are not considered as part of the biological control approach as many are not aware of their benefits. This presentation will discuss various native species of amphibian and reptile found in the Great Lakes region and the species they help us control. We will also discuss how to enhance habitat and attract herpetofauna to natural area and gardens to help control and remove invasives.

Subject Matter Level: 
Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm
David A. Mifsud
Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC
David A. Mifsud is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Ecologist, and a Professional Wetland Scientist. He has been working for 20 years in wildlife biology, wetland ecology, and habitat conservation and management with expertise in Michigan amphibians and reptiles. Mifsud is the author of the Amphibian & Reptile Best Management Practices for Michigan. He is the Co-Chair of the State of Michigan Amphibian and Reptile Technical Advisory Board and administer of the Michigan Herpetological Atlas. David also serves as an expert on Great Lakes Turtles for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group and is active in global turtle and tortoises conservation.