SAVE THE DATE for ATAG’s 3rd Advanced Training Course: Amphibian Field Research Techniques
Sunday, April 29 – Friday, May 4, 2018
Hosted by the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, North Carolina
This hands-on learning experience taught by experts focuses on numerous aspects of amphibian field research techniques. Participants will be in the field every day of the course, learning how to design their own field project, identifying amphibians, installing/checking traps, participating in disease and eDNA sampling. Course will include field trips to many wetlands to sample for a variety of amphibians from Spotted Salamanders to Dwarf Waterdogs and hopefully Pine Barrens Treefrogs.
This course is ideal for individuals with novice to moderate knowledge of amphibians and/or research techniques. This course is designed for a variety of professions from zoo keepers, veterinarians, academics, and professional biologists who are interested in beginning or expanding upon field work with amphibians.
None. Priority will be given to AZA members, but researchers, students, land managers and private herpetologists are welcome to attend. International applicants and those not affiliated with an AZA accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis; please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course.
Course fees are still being determined. Registration and course fees will be announced via email and http://saveamphibians.org/2018-advanced-course/
once finalized, so stay tuned!
And PLEASE plan now to send someone in your 2018 budget!
Recent Paper on Hellbenders
Importance of demographic surveys and public lands for the conservation of eastern hellbenders Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis
in southeast USA
Michael J. Freake1*, Christopher S. DePerno2
1 Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee, United States of
America, 2 Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation
Biology Program, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
Comparisons of recent and historic population demographic studies of eastern hellbenders Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis
have identified significant population declines and extirpations associated with habitat degradation, poor water quality and disease, leading to nomination as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. However, populations in the southern Appalachian region of the range have received less attention despite relatively high levels of watershed protection due to the establishment of federally protected National Forest and National Park public lands. These watersheds likely represent some of the best remaining available habitat, yet the lack of published studies make assessment of population stability and viability very difficult. Our objectives were to (1) conduct a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) demographic study and a point transect survey on the Hiwassee River in Tennessee which is designated a National Scenic River, and is largely contained within the Cherokee National Forest, (2) quantify the size structure of the population, (3) compare abundance, survival and recruitment with historic and contemporary hellbender populations across the range, (4) assess the importance of this population and the significance of National Forest and National Park lands in the context of hellbender population conservation in the southeastern United States. We detected all age classes present, with larval hellbenders comprising 21.5% of captures. Using a combination of static life table and CMR methods, we determined that survival rates during the first year were low (~10%), but were high (68±94%) for taggable sized hellbenders. Density of hellbenders at the study site was very high (84 taggable sized hellbenders per 100m of river) compared to recent demographic studies conducted in other regions of the range. We detected hellbenders over ~28 km of river, with a mean density of 23 taggable sized hellbenders per 100m of river, and a total population estimate of 6440 taggable hellbenders. National Forest and National Park lands are likely to continue to play a particularly important role in providing suitable habitat for hellbenders in the southern Appalachians. In fact, only six of 21 known hellbender locations in Tennessee appear to show consistent larval recruitment, all of which are located within or adjacent to National Forest or National Park land.
Full paper available here.
In the News
Spotted Turtles (and other turtles) in the LA Times
What would you use to trap a tegu?
The invasive Argentine black and white tegu is threatening native species in Florida, including the gopher tortoise and Florida burrowing owl. But what's the best way to trap and remove these giant lizards?
Gator wrangled in Brunswick Forest, relocated to Green Swamp Wilmington Star
News 5-20-17 – Master Officer Scott Pritchard
wrangles and relocates an alligator from Brunswick County shopping area.
WSB Study: Partial fencing doesn’t keep reptiles off road
To save money, managers sometimes fence only one side of roads running through wildlife habitat, but does this save animals, too? In Ontario, only fencing on both sides of the road kept reptiles off a dangerous causeway and decreased roadkill.
Canada restricts import of salamanders to prevent spread of disease
The Government of Canada has implemented a one-year import restriction on salamanders, newts and mudpuppies to prevent the invasion of the disease-causing fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans
, commonly referred to as Bsal
|Rising temperatures pose long-term risk to sea turtles
Rising temperatures due to climate change could benefit sea turtles in the short term, but they may be disastrous in the long-term. A study of loggerheads on Cape Verde found that by the turn of the century, temperatures could be too hot for sea turtle eggs to successfully develop and hatch.