Founder of New York Natural History Council to Discuss Species Ecology, Decline and Recovery Strategies

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Jay Westerveld, founder of the New York Natural History Council, will offer insights into the unique ecology, startling decline and recovery strategies of the Northern Cricket Frog when he lectures at SUNY Orange’s Gilman Center for International Education at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27.

PHOTO: Northern Cricket FrogIn the face of worldwide amphibian decline, Orange County’s cricket frog serves as an acute, local example of a staggering global crisis, and may present a recovery model for protecting the vast numbers of amphibians worldwide. Admission to Westerveld’s presentation is free. The event, scheduled in conjunction with the College’s new “Global Initiative: Sustaining the Earth,” is sponsored jointly by Global Initiative committee and the College’s Biology Department.

The remaining populations of the Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans), reside only in the Mid-Hudson region. The largest and healthiest population thrives in Orange County, at the county-owned Glenmere reservoir lands. The cricket frog’s peculiar behaviors include a fascinating overland migration each spring and autumn, spanning several habitat-types—a behavior which may hold clues to the cause of its decline.

Westerveld founded the New York Natural History Council as a non-profit/non-advocacy research and education organization dedicated to the study of New York’s natural sciences.

For more information on the lecture, contact Dr. Jennifer Merriam, SUNY Orange biology professor, at (845) 255-3217. To learn more about “Global Initiative: Sustaining the Earth,” visit the College’s web site at www.sunyorange.edu/gi.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940