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Smoky Mountains

Jay Redbond

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Hello all,

I am off to America this year at the end of April to stay with my Aunt and Uncle in there petrol station in the Smoky Mountains. I would love to see as many Salamanders as I can while I am there and photograph them. I wondered if anyone knows a contact that does research or works in the Smoky Mountains so I could contact them, or even meet up with them while I am staying there to show me or point me in the right directions of the best localities.

Kind Regards
Jay
 

Kaysie

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You can't go to the Smoky's and not find salamanders. There really are everywhere. Get yourself a DeLorme Gazatteer, a good map of the park, and map out all the good looking spots.

And look for some green salamanders while you're there; they haven't been found in the park in like 70 years.
 

Jay Redbond

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That’s brilliant news I heard that it was like that, so I am lucky that my Uncle owns the gas station on the dragons tail.

Well that is and added bonus I have always wanted to see Green Salamanders in the wild. I didn’t realise they had been found there to I will definitely keep my eye open for them.

Thanks for that.

Jay
 

sallie2010

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We took the family to the Gatlinburg area and my husband and I hiked the Ramsey Falls trail. There is a spot that you can get into the rapids and there are TONS of salamanders. I have pictures but currently cannot find them on my server. The ones we saw were longer than your hand! We also saw a wood toad on the trail! That was really awesome...the only things we didn't see were bears which was fine with me :eek:
 

Kaysie

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The Dragon's Tail is a pretty stretch of road. Drive up to the end of the seasonal road that goes into Cade's Cove, and park, and just walk up the road and look for critters. We found tons of things after some spring run-off.

And if it's your thing, take a boat across Fontana Lake and check out the cemeteries in the abandoned village of Proctor (or hike in on the famed 'Road to Nowhere').
 
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DJ Argo

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Hi. Jay.

I think the point of Kaysie's post is that there haven't been any Green Salamanders seen in a long time in the park. They probably all died out along with the Chestnut blight. The best habitat for them now is damp sandstone.

There are still a lot of species to be found, 19 by my count.A really good book to pick up is Kenneth Dodd Jr The Amphibians of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you can't get it before your trip you can easily get it in the park. Certain species are quite abundant, especially the Dusky Salamander complex species, but you'll really want to read up as much as you can to find the greatest diversity possible.
 

Kaysie

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When we took our trip, we used a combo of Dodd's book, Conant & Collins Peterson guide, and an antique herp survey book I have that lists exact localities of all sorts of interesting species, like hellbenders, one of which was right outside our cabin! We never did find one though, as the spring floods were just too torrential for us to wade the river. Little River, my foot!
 

Jay Redbond

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Thanks for all the information, I just bought the Kenneth Dodd Jr book off amozon, so looking forward to its arrival.

Thanks again
 

Jay Redbond

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What a cracking book it arrived yesterday and I stayed up till 1am couldn't put it down. Thanks very much for the information wouldn't have known about the book if you didnt tell me about it. Now I can really have a good go at maximising the amount of animals I can find in the six days I'm there. :D

Thanks again
 

Greatwtehunter

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If you're up for a drive (an hour or two) I have some spots right across the border in Virginia where I can take you to find green sals. End of April is right at the beginning of prime time to look for them. I also have some other spots where I can take you herping for other species, like P. yonahlossee.
 

Jay Redbond

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If you're up for a drive (an hour or two) I have some spots right across the border in Virginia where I can take you to find green sals. End of April is right at the beginning of prime time to look for them. I also have some other spots where I can take you herping for other species, like P. yonahlossee.

That sounds great I am well up for that I will message you just before I leave for America and will give you more details of dates. I have always wanted to see green salamander they are beautiful salamanders.

Thanks Justin
 

ahritchie

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You can't go to the mountains around here without finding lots of salamanders :D The southeast US is home to the world's largest diversity of salamander species, there's about 56 species just here in North Carolina. The more common species like southern dusky salamander are practically everywhere in the mountains; just start flipping rocks. I would narrow down what species in particular you really want to see the most, then find where their range is...this site is helpful for NC salamanders and their habitats: http://www.herpsofnc.org/herps_of_nc/salamanders/salamanders.html

This article has specific known locations of green salamander populations:
http://216.27.39.101/Wildlife_Species_Con/documents/nongame_greensalamander_lores.pdf
 

John

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Haha the Dragon's Tail. I've spent so much time stuck behind bikers on that nightmare road. It's the only access from eastern TN to a ton of NC endemics. I think I might know which gas station you're talking about.

In April and May I'll be spending a good amount of time in that neck of the woods, so drop me a pm of the dates you'll be there. I've seen all but 2 or 3 species in that whole region.
 

Jay Redbond

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Haha the Dragon's Tail. I've spent so much time stuck behind bikers on that nightmare road. It's the only access from eastern TN to a ton of NC endemics. I think I might know which gas station you're talking about.

In April and May I'll be spending a good amount of time in that neck of e woods, so drop me a pm of the dates you'll be there. I've seen all but 2 or 3 species in that whole region.

Hi John,
That sounds great I will let you know exact dates closer to the time.

Thanks
 

jcruz

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I just got back from a family spring break trip to the Smokies. I'm new to Desmognathus species id and had a real tough time of it. I keep thinking 'why can't I figure this genus out?'. I had a couple of books with me but found that 'The Amphibians of Tennessee' by Niemiller and Reynolds clarified ID the most. It covered similar species differentiation well. Unfortunately, it was the last book I looked at, as we were driving home. Anyway, it'll help me for next time. I'd recommend it highly, whether you're new at Desmognathus species or not, though ideally before you go. :eek:
 

John

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There are maybe 3 species of Desmognathus in the the mountains between TN and NC that look very similar. I feel your pain. Range is often the best way to distinguish them easily.

We have a cracking trip planned with Jay. Hopefully we get some rain!
 
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