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Posts by Elyse Henshaw

A Different Variety

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017

A Different Variety

We have a special species to feature in this week’s Salamander Saturday: the Red-cheeked Salamander (Plethodon jordani)! This salamander is another southern Appalachian species, primarily occurring between southwestern Virginia and extreme northeastern Georgia. It is a fairly common resident in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, otherwise known as the “Salamander Capital of the World.” This salamander typically resides within deep mountain gorges near streams and seeps. It also tends to prefer spruce-fir forests, but is sometimes found in mixed hardwood forests as...

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I Spy

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017

I Spy

I spy with my little eye, something brown. Not a big enough clue? How about, I spy with my little eye something with big eyes and a big mouth? Can you see it yet? Any idea of what it is? I’ll give you a hint, its a species not found in western New York or Pennsylvania. Give up? It’s a Shovel-nosed Salamander (Desmognathus marmoratus) poking out of a small opening within a damp rock face! This species is a common resident in the streams and seeps of the Appalachian mountains, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I had the opportunity to visit the park and play a game...

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Calling All Wild American Students!

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017

Calling All Wild American Students!

Are you interested in pursuing a career in environmental biology or environmental education? Are you a junior or senior in high school, or a college student looking for an exciting summer packed with relevant experience? Please consider joining the Roger Tory Peterson Institute’s Project Wild America Youth Ambassador program. Through this program you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside RTPI biologists and staff as they investigate, monitor and improve habitat for unusual and threatened species in the City of Jamestown, as well as raise public awareness and increase...

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Spring Salamander

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017

Spring Salamander

Hey look – a hot-dog with eyes! Wait, that’s a Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus)! This large, lung-less salamander is a common resident in the many springs and streams that run through our local forests. It’s stature and bright coloration make it stand out, but also serve as protection from predators. Spring salamanders can grow to over eight inches in length and produce noxious skin secretions while using their color to mimic even more toxic species. It isn’t a salamander any predator would want to mess with, and it probably wouldn’t taste anything...

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Winter’s Not Over Yet

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017

Winter’s Not Over Yet

The fresh blanket of snow across the Western New York landscape is a good reminder that winter isn’t over just yet. However, some of our resident amphibians have been receiving crossed signals due to recent increases in daylight hours and above average temperatures; we have actually gotten reports of salamanders and frogs moving to nearby ponds and vernal pools to lay their eggs. With this weekend’s dropping temperatures, local pools have started to ice over indicating freezing temperatures near the surface. The eggs of some amphibian species are able to cope with fluctuating spring...

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