Our Objectives

  • 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.

Our Story

Founded in 1954 in Orange County, the Southwestern Herpetologists Society has met continuously in a variety of locations over the years. The Society currently has two chapters, the Los Angeles Chapter in the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley Chapter.

Membership in SWHS is open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

Board of Directors and Committee Chairs

Wes Pollock, 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.


Jackson Gallant, Vice-President

I am the Sergeant at Arms and a BOD rep for the Los Angeles Chapter.


Peggy Wu, Secretary,
Membership Chairman

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 goes to Education Outreach events with me. I joined the SWHS society late in 2012. 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, 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.


Grayson Kent, LA BOD Representative

Owner of Rock n Roll Reptiles


Rande Gallant, LA BOD Representative

I am the Publications Chairman for the SWHS and a Member at Large for the LA Chapter.

John Saint John, SGV BOD Representative, Adoptions

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.


Ron Sawyer, SGV BOD Representative

I am a Member at Large for the San Gabriel Chapter.

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.

Chris DeGroof, Education Outreach

My wife and I joined SWHS a few years ago and our zoo of herps has expanded! We keep many kinds of snakes, lizards, frogs, and a tortoise, but my heart for animals has been stolen by the drymarchon genus of snakes (indigos and cribos). I am always looking forward to each herp event with the wonderful people of SWHS.


Alyssa Ganezer, Legislation Chairman

I am the Legislation Chair for the SWHS.