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Salamanders and frogs and snakes, oh my!

Feb 21

Written by:
2/21/2012 3:57 PM  RssIcon

Do you yearn to learn about salamanders, frogs and toads, collectively known as amphibians? What about snakes, lizards and alligators, collectively known as reptiles? If so, join N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission personnel Jeff Hall and Mike Campbell for one of three workshops they are conducting in February and March for anyone 16 years and older who is conservation-minded and doesn’t care about the possibility of getting their shoes wet and dirty.  


Two of the workshops — the Feb. 29 workshop at Camp Agape and the April 5 workshop at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center — will focus on amphibians. Both will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m., with classroom instruction in the morning on conservation, basic biology and habitat requirements of frogs, toads and salamanders, as well as the effects people can have on these environmentally sensitive animals. In the afternoon, participants will head outdoors and put their newly acquired skills and knowledge to test looking for critters.


For those of you who prefer snakes and ‘gators, Campbell and Hall will also hold an “Amphibians and Reptiles in North Carolina” workshop on April 18 at Carolina Beach State Park in New Hanover County. This one, too, is an all-day workshop, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with classes in the morning and a field excursion in the afternoon. 


The workshops at Cool Springs and Carolina Beach State Park are free. The one at Camp Agape costs $15.


Hall is a herpetologist with the Commission, as well as coordinator of the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation — a partnership dedicated to the conservation of reptiles, amphibians and their habitats. Campbell is an education specialist for the Commission in southeastern North Carolina. Both have a passion for “herps,” as reptiles and amphibians are called, as well as “herps” conservation, and both enjoy teaching others as a way to pass along that passion and promote the conservation of these often-maligned and under-appreciated animals. 


Hall expects that workshop participants will see lots of critters, from salamanders at Camp Agape, which is located in Fuquay-Varina, to “no telling what” at Carolina Beach State Park, which, according to Hall, boasts an incredible diversity of reptiles and amphibians.


“There are many, many possible species that we may encounter during the afternoon field excursion at Carolina Beach,” Hall said. “I expect we may see Eastern hognose snakes, Southern cricket frogs, barking treefrogs, and broken-striped newts, just to name a few.”



All workshops qualify for Component II of the N.C. Office of Environmental Education Certification and educators may receive one CEU credit for each workshop they attend.


For more information, read the news release.

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