Dr Brian Smith, the person leading the lizard
research, is Assistant Professor at Black Hills State
Why were you so interested in
working on this project?
'I am interested in the conservation
of reptiles and amphibians, especially snakes. When
I heard about the Antiguan racer project, it seemed
to me that if I did nothing else in my life, helping
to save one species from extinction was a worthwhile
Ryan Baum is a student at BHSU. He has worked with
Dr Smith since the lizard research began, and co-wrote
the first lizard survey report in 1999.
What help have you had with
'In 1999, there were only two of us, but the
other partners gave us lots of support. They provided
scientific guidance, knowledge of local natural history
and, best of all, they visited us on our research islands
and kept us supplied with cold drinks!'
Since the initial survey in
1999, other people have lent a hand. Oniika Davis, a
graduate from Trinidad, heard about the project through
the University of The West Indies Biological Society.
She worked as a field assistant on the lizard research
during July-August 2000.
What was the hardest part
of the work?
'Standing in one spot for two hours at a time, morning
and afternoon, during the hottest part of the day, counting
every lizard that I could see.'
What did you enjoy most?
'Working with different people from different countries
and learning more about the project and the animals
it is trying to save.'