URGENT! NC Highway expansion threatens world's most diverse salamander site

taherman

Caudata.org Donor
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
381
Reaction score
23
Points
18
Location
Whitehouse, OH
Country
United States
A state highway expansion in North Carolina threatens the most diverse salamander habitat on Earth.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is now accepting comments on their project to widen NC Highway 191 over the uniquely diverse site, where 17 species of salamanders have been documented living in one single forested wetland habitat.

The United States is home to more species and families of salamander than any other country in the world....more than any rainforest, more than any tropical location, more than anywhere. These salamander communities are at their richest in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Since the 1970s herpetologists Alvin Braswell (NC State Museum of Natural Science) and later Dr. James Petranka (UNC-Asheville) focused their studies on these uniquely American amphibians and how they interacted with their forest ecosystems. In the course of their research, they identified one site near Asheville that stands out, unparralleled anywhere, which holds the record for the most salamander species living together in a single location.

Furthermore, recent genetic research on one species there, the Four-toed Salamander, has revealed that this habitat contains the best remaining population of an ancient lineage that may represent a new species. In total, at least 40 species of amphibians and reptiles are known to inhabit this exceptional area of forest.

Please take a moment to encourage the NC Department of Transportation to choose alternatives which would protect this globally unique and irreplaceable gem of the natural heritage of the United States.

Comments should be sent to:

Ahmad Al-Sharawneh (Project Manager) by email at aalsharawneh@ncdot.gov with a CC to Robin Pugh (RK&K) at rpugh@rkk.com

or by US mail at 1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

Please keep your comments concise and respectful.

Below you will find a short example which you can use to guide your comments to the North Carolina Department of Transportation:

********************************************

Mr. Al-Sharawneh,

I am writing to comment on the expansion of NC Highway 191 in Buncombe County. This area contains a globally unique ecosystem containing the highest diversity of salamanders living together anywhere on Earth, including the best known habitat for a very rare lineage of the Four-toed salamander.

Salamanders are one of the most unique components of the biodiversity of the United States, and more species exist here than anywhere else in the world. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the center of this diversity, and researchers in North Carolina have found this location along Hwy 191 to be the absolute best example of this incredible natural heritage. Salamanders are also some of our most sensitive wildlife. Slight changes in the habitat such as shading of vegetation, water runoff from construction areas, or shifting hydrology could result in the loss of one or more salamander species from the site.

I strongly encourage you to find alternative construction plans that do not damage or alter the ecosystem at this location. No mitigation or alternative habitat improvement elsewhere can replace the exceptional combination of factors that created this unparalled natural gem.

Thank you for your time and for considering the permanent implications that this project could have on North Carolina's globally unique wildlife.

Sincerely,

********************************************

Thank you for taking the time to support protection for our unparalleled amphibian biodiversity.

Tim Herman
Indoor Ecosystems, LLC
 

Attachments

  • NC Hwy 191 Salamanders-full.jpg
    NC Hwy 191 Salamanders-full.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 119

Aesyir

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Country
United States
Thank you for making this known. :happy:
 

MermaidMommy

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
40
Reaction score
15
Points
8
Location
Houston
Country
United States
Good for you for taking action. I am going to write even though I’m in Texas.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Chamoxnle:
    My new axolotl enjoys floating. He doesn't seem stressed, or like he's being forced to float. He just likes to chill at the top. Why do some enjoy floating around? Most of my other axolotls are content staying stationary, but this one just continues to move, only stopping to eat. Again, he doesn't seem stressed, and it's not a fretful swim.
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Hi, Im fairly new to keeping axolotls. I have to lil buddies that I got a few months back. They were doing fine, up until a month ago when one got fungus in his gills. Took him out to fridge him, then the other guy got it too. I'm currently fridging both and doing salt baths for one (not enough fridge space to keep that much pretreated water for both at the same time). Its been hard to tell if its helping or not and then about a week and half ago one of my axies had a bunch of weird white goop in the water. I immediately changed it, happened a tiny bit again, then seemed to be okay. I had returned him to the tank, but it happened again. Back to the fridge but wanted hear from people who knew more
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I have pictures. Tried looking through other peoples questions, but couldnt find the same white goop.
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    @Kailynom My cousin (who i got my baby axies from) had the same problem. She developed an allergy to the bloodworms she was feeding them and it got really bad. To the point where her throat would close up just being around the bloodworms. Happened within a few months. Be safe :)
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    @MadamePirateOwl Fridging is best left to life-or-death situations, and salt baths are unnecessarily harsh, stressful, and abrasive. I'd suggest doing tea baths instead (using caffeinated black tea, where the only ingredient is black tea).
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    so no idea what the goop is?
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    Hard to tell without a photo, but might be algae or fungus floating. Water changes will take care of that.
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    It definitely came from the axolotl. Looked to be mixed into poo the first time. Can I post the photos here?
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Im not actually sure how i would post it. It seems to want a link
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Its fairly thick and chunky
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    (Also thanks for your patience and help!)
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    You could always upload the photo to imgur and link it back here
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    The second image was how it looked the first time, it was mixed with some other poop like stuff. after that its been small and without the poopy stuff
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    The second photo looks reminiscent of partially-digested worms, though I've never seen anything like that. Have you checked your parameters lately?
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Right now theyre in smaller tubs that i do daily water changes in
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I'll admit Ive bought test strips but they havent come in yet
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I use Prime to dechlorinate the water, which was recommend by the girl I got them from
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    For now I'd tub the axolotl and do daily 100% water changes until you're able to test your parameters
    +1
    Unlike
  • madcaplaughs:
    I'd also recommend ordering a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit since strips are generally unreliable and inaccurate.
    +1
    Unlike
  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Okay, thank you for your help and advice :)
    +1
    Unlike
  • k.em:
    anybody growing tylototriton?
    +2
    Unlike
  • pixxie:
    +1
    Unlike
  • pixxie:
    hi I’m looking for some insight, it would really help if you could check out what I have written^
    +1
    Unlike
    pixxie: hi I’m looking for some insight, it would really help if you could check out what I have written^ +1
    Top