Nomination Statement for D. Bruce Means, recipient of the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s 2019 Paul Moler Herpetological Conservation Award

Soon-to-be 35 years ago, in 1984, Dr. D. Bruce Means was one of the founders of the Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy. After decades as Executive Director, he now serves as President Emeritus. He has devoted his life to herpetology and although he is accomplished in research, management, administration, and education, I believe he qualifies for this award primarily for the first and final endeavors on that list.


He has ~180 scientific publications. Some features:

The Sunshine State is home to at least 27 species of salamanders. Projects have focused on a half dozen of those and enough information has been assembled to create a monograph about Florida’s or the coastal plains species.

Long term studies on Eastern Diamondback (400+ page monograph published in 2017), Cottonmouth, Eastern Kingsnake, ratsnakes, and other large species, and a study that began 50 years ago on 250 temporary ponds, focusing on vertebrate life cycles, especially Rana capito and Notophalmus perstriatus.

As I write this, wildland fires dominate the news. Dr. Means would like to build upon his data and update the effects of prescribed burning on herps and publish in a suitable outlet.


In addition to 70+ popular articles, he has written several books such as: Priceless Florida, Florida Magnificent Wilderness, and Stalking the Plumed Serpent and Other Adventures in Herpetology. Also, he has created about a dozen slide-illustrated lectures and been involved with a handful of documentaries. All of these deal with Florida herpetology.

At Coastal Plains Institute Dr. Means has taught Uplands Ecosystems, Wetlands Ecosystems, and Coastal Strands & Barrier Islands.

I’ve only scratched the surface of his contributions. I encourage you to discover the depth and breadth of his work via his website: His 49-page CV is attached there.

Meet Dr. Means here: