My former field supervisor and good friend, Dave S., passed on this NPR article about state and federal agency efforts to restore the endangered Amargosa toad. I worked for an environmental resources department as a field biologist intern for two years when I was in Las Vegas. The annual Beatty Amargosa toad surveys were actually one of my first field assignments!
Those night surveys, as I recall, were tons of fun! Sure, there were some rough moments: wading waist-deep in brackish water (and trying to keep the gear dry), fighting away swarms of mosquitos and insects attracted to the lights, crawling on hands and knees under prickly mesquites to extract toads from the tree crevices, and of course, the best part– being peed on by nervous toads! It was amazing, however, how many people–biologists, miners, ranchers, local neighbors–came together during those week-long surveys to help preserve these toads. I don’t mean to sound all "teacher-y" but those surveys truly were great examples of collaborative groupwork. As a side note, one of my Amargosa photographs were posted on ARKIVE! (ARKIVE is a comprehensive online multimedia guide to the world’s endangered species.)