The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store

SC Press: How many seepage salamanders have you seen this year?

This is a Press Information page entitled SC Press: How many seepage salamanders have you seen this year? within the Press / News Items section of Caudata.org --- AIKEN STANDARD (S Carolina) 22 November 08 How many seepage salamanders have you seen this year? (Whit Gibbons) Steve Bennett and I did not intentionally ...

Reply

 

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 25th November 2008   #1 (permalink)
Our Roving Correspondent
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 60
Posts: 494
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: wes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.orgwes_von_papinešu is considered an Authority at Caudata.org
Default SC Press: How many seepage salamanders have you seen this year?

AIKEN STANDARD (S Carolina) 22 November 08 How many seepage salamanders have you seen this year? (Whit Gibbons)
Steve Bennett and I did not intentionally pick the coldest day so far this fall to search for salamanders in soggy seeps, but that was the day we went. Steve is the state herpetologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. As amphibians, salamanders are a group of creatures herpetologists study. A seep is a wetland habitat created by groundwater slowly flowing out at the base of a steep bluff.
The cold weather, a bit above freezing, did not bother the salamanders. When we began to find the salamanders, the cold no longer bothered us, either. Steve's purpose in visiting seep habitats was to establish their location, develop an inventory of species that depend on them and eventually help protect these unusual and little-known habitats and their inhabitants. What Steve and I would call a "good seep" is one with year-round muck, visible crawfish mounds and sphagnum moss margining some of the slightly elevated areas. Little rivulets less than a foot wide and only a few inches deep flow away from the bluff. Accumulations sometimes result in small streams that lead to larger ones. A seep is one of the most serene habitats imaginable, especially on a brisk autumn day. Finding more than 30 salamanders of five species made our day.
Dan Tufford, president of the Columbia Audubon Society, accompanied us. He took water samples while Steve and I looked for salamanders. Dan noted that one bluff we descended to reach a seep was about 40 feet high, thus creating a high, thick bit of terrain through which rain water could percolate. Many of the seeps have stayed wet through recent droughts, indicating that water passing from the high ground above to the base of the bluff below may take months, possibly years.
Seeps are inhabited by a special group of amphibians, the lungless salamanders. Like other vertebrate animals, salamanders breathe by taking in oxygen. They do so primarily through their skin as well as through tissues in the mouth. To do so efficiently, they must stay cool and moist. The water temperature in a seep is cool and stays pretty much the same year-round. The salamanders stay in the mud, wet ground vegetation or under the soggy logs that are present.
Finding salamanders in seeps is exhilarating. Imagine turning over a log and finding four long, slender yellow salamanders with black stripes. Then turn over the next log to find a bright red salamander that looks like a small hotdog with black spots and a pink belly. We found more than a dozen of each. We also found several dusky salamanders, which are dark gray, a bright yellow two-lined salamander, and one known as the mud salamander. Mud salamanders sometimes have the red-leopard appearance of a red salamander; the two can be distinguished because the latter has yellow irises. The mud salamander has brown ones. Staring down a salamander is not that hard to do, so Steve and I were able to identify the ones we caught.
After Steve took notes on each animal, we released them where we had caught them. This was especially important for one big female red salamander. Red salamanders lay their eggs in the fall under a log or rock, attaching the eggs so that they adhere to the underside. Meanwhile, the female hollows out a little pool beneath the eggs and stays until they hatch. Exactly what the mother protects the eggs from remains a mystery. Parental care exhibited by animals is fascinating, and finding a nest-guarding red salamander was a treat for Steve and me.
Environmental stewardship of our natural habitats, including such unique habitats as seeps, is critical. Fortunately, the seeps we visited are in no immediate danger of disappearing. Two are protected because they are on land owned by a conservation society. The other two are also well protected by being on a large, privately owned plantation. Both give the wetland areas known as seeps the full protection they need from the assaults suffered by many other natural areas across the country. Let's hope they stay that way so that others can have the opportunity to visit pristine seeps with salamanders underfoot.
http://www.aikenstandard.com/feature.../1123-EcoViews



wes_von_papinešu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2008   #2 (permalink)
Caudata.org Donor
 
Nathan050793's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 24
Posts: 828
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Nathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.orgNathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.orgNathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.orgNathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.orgNathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.orgNathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.orgNathan050793 is a mainstay of Caudata.org
Default Re: SC Press: How many seepage salamanders have you seen this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wes_von_papinešu View Post
Finding salamanders in seeps is exhilarating. Imagine turning over a log and finding four long, slender yellow salamanders with black stripes.
True that.



__________________
Useful links:
Caudata Culture Care Sheets FAQ Care Articles

Wollemi
(Look around you)
-Australian Aboriginal saying

Nathan050793 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dusky, mud, press, red, salamanders, seepage, two-lined, year

LinkBack
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MB Press: A slower year for salamanders wes_von_papinešu Press / News Items 0 25th July 2009 04:51
N. strauchii eggs: 1st year versus 4th year Jennewt Near and Middle Eastern Newts (Neurergus) 5 16th March 2008 01:27
Seepage (in CC amphib glossary) Otterwoman Glossary - Completed Words 4 14th January 2008 02:32
What is a seepage? Otterwoman General Discussion & News from Members 8 13th January 2008 21:58
Finding salamanders in Michigan, at this time of year... nicholas General Discussion & News from Members 1 6th October 2004 02:37


All times are GMT. The time now is 18:31.