- To enhance the education of the members and the general public concerning the roles of amphibians and reptiles in the natural world.
- To promote the conservation of reptiles and amphibians in particular, as well as all wildlife in general.
- To provide information for the closer cooperation between amateur and professional herpetologists, that they may work together for the promotion of the science of herpetology.
Founded in 1954 in Orange County, the Southwestern Herpetologists Society has met continuously in a variety of locations over the years. The Society’s Los Angeles Chapter meets in Van Nuys, California the first Wednesday of each month.
Membership in SWHS is open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.
Board of Directors and Committee Chairs
John Saint John – BOD President, Adoptions Chairman, Field Studies Chairman, Outreach Committee, LA Chapter President
I have always been interested in Herpetology since I was a child. My family and I have always had a herp or several over the years; my favorite being Kingsnakes. I also house the adoption animals for the society. I have been in the Society on and off since 74. I wish to welcome everyone visiting this page to attend one of our meetings to say hello. We are always excited to meet like-minded people and are more than willing to help others with their pets.
Wes Pollock – BOD Past President
I hope to help my fellow SWHS members spread knowledge and increase awareness of our scaly and slimy friends. The information being brought forth from general keepers as well as professionals is opening new worlds for today’s Herpetophiles, bringing previously unknown or unavailable species right into our living rooms either as living examples of the bounty of nature or through our media preferences.
Grayson Kent – BOD Vice President, LA Chapter Vice President
Owner of Rock n Roll Reptiles and instructor.
Peggy Wu – BOD Secretary,
Membership Chairman, Outreach Committee, LA Chapter Secretary
I have are a young rhino iguana named Walter (trust me, he runs my entire life!), a grey rat snake named Otto and an albino California King Snake named Pinkie who go to Education Outreach events with me. In the time I have been a member, I have met some wonderful people who love animals, take action for conservation, and reach out to the community via education events and finding homes for abandoned herps. This is a great group of hard working herpers and I’ve learned so much from them already.
William Wu – BOD Treasurer
I’m not a herper, but my wife Peggy is. I help the Society by doing their taxes, and lots of loading and unloading her car for Outreach Events and meetings. Also, we published a fundraiser book for the Society and other animal rescues in the Los Angeles area.
Jordan Landsberg – LA BOD Rep
I’m Jordan. I have been keeping reptiles for 5 years and a member of the Herp Society for 4 years. I have 4 snakes, a bearded dragon, tree frogs, a created gecko, 2 tarantulas and a colony of Madagascar hissing roaches.
Barry Michael Wehrli – Newsletter Editor
My favorite reptiles are snakes, having had them since I was eight yrs. old. My wife and I currently keep snakes, along with box turtles and Russian tortoises. I’m a keyboardist, composer, author and educator. I have taught music since 1994, written and published several piano books through my company Wehrli Publications, and have performed throughout the country.
Alyssa Ganezer – Legislation Chairman, Outreach Committee, LA Chapter Officer at Large
I’m new to herping, but have acquired a corn snake and a ball python to keep my bearded dragon company since joining this group, both from the adoption program. The wonderful people here have taught me so much, which I enjoy passing on at our outreach events.
Rande Gallant – Publications Chairman and Historian
I am a long term member of the Society and have held a variety of roles over the years. Currently I am the Publications Chair and hold a collection of historical SWHS publications.