Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog © Chuck Peterson 2011 Creative Commons License
PARCAs are a nonregulatory designation whose purpose is to raise public awareness and spark voluntary
action by landowners and conservation partners to benefit amphibians and/or reptiles. Areas are nominated
using scientific criteria and expert review, drawing on the concepts of species rarity, richness, regional
responsibility, and landscape integrity. Modeled in part after the Important Bird Areas program developed
by BirdLife International, PARCAs are intended to be coordinated nationally but implemented locally at
state or regional scales.
Importantly, PARCAs are not designed to compete with existing landscape biodiversity initiatives,
but to complement them – providing an additional spatially explicit layer for conservation consideration.
PARCAs are intended to be established in areas:
capable of supporting viable amphibian and reptile populations
occupied by rare, imperiled, or at-risk species, and
rich in species diversity or endemism
There are four major steps in implementation:
1. Regional PARC task teams or state experts can use the criteria and modify them when appropriate, to designate potential PARCAs in their area of interest.
2. Following the identification of all potential PARCAs, the group then reduces these to a final set of exceptional sites that best represent the area of interest.
3. Experts and stakeholders in the area of interest collaborate to produce a map that identifies these peer-reviewed PARCAs.
4. Final PARCAs are shared with the community to encourage the implementation of voluntary habitat management and conservation efforts. PARCA boundaries can be updated as needed.
Sutherland and deMaynadier. 2012. Model Criteria and Implementation Guidance for a Priority Amphibian and Reptile
Conservation Area (PARCA) System in the USA. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Technical Publication
PARCA-1. 28 pp.
Current PARCA Identification Projects
Two projects serving as pilot efforts for designation of PARCAs were funded by regional USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
(1) collect target species data,
(2) develop a modeling framework for PARCA focus area selection, and
(3) assess PARCA resiliency to climate change and other potential landscape threats.
North Atlantic LCC: Please contact Phillip deMaynadier at email@example.com for information on the North Atlantic LCC-funded PARCAs project.
South Atlantic LCC: Please contact JJ Apodaca at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the South Atlantic LCC PARCAs project.
Contact PARC if you are interested in learning more or participating in the PARCA process
PARCA Criteria Development Team:
Ron Sutherland, SE PARC (Wildlands Network), Chair
Phillip deMaynadier, NE PARC (Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife)
Margaret Griep, SE PARC (USFS)
Randy Jennings, SW PARC (Western New Mexico University)
Karen Kinkead, MW PARC (Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources)
Priya Nanjappa (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)