FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (Feb. 16, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is conducting an “Amphibians in North Carolina” workshop in Wake County for anyone 16 years and older who is interested in learning more about frogs, toads and salamanders.
The workshop, which costs $15, will be held at Camp Agape in Fuquay-Varina on Feb. 29 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. It will begin with classroom presentations on the conservation, basic biology and habitat requirements of frogs, toads and salamanders, as well as the effects people can have on these environment-sensitive animals.
In the afternoon, workshop participants will use their newly acquired knowledge and skills by assisting with hands-on field work at the center, which sits on 624 acres of rolling hills, streams and ephemeral ponds — prime habitat for moisture-loving amphibians.
Despite the cooler weather typical of late-February, participants should expect to find animals, according to Jeff Hall, a Commission biologist.
“One of the things that makes these workshops so much fun is that we never know what we might find,” Hall said. “Camp Agape offers lots of good potential for big, flashy salamanders. Last time we found spotted salamanders, three-lined salamanders and a red salamander.”
Hall is also coordinator of the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, a partnership dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians and their habitats.
Several species of frogs and toads should be calling in late February so participants should keep not only an open eye but open ears as well.
“This workshop is a good opportunity for folks to brush up on their amphibian-calling skills, particularly if they’re interested in helping us conduct surveys for this year’s Calling Amphibians Survey Program, also known as CASP,” Hall said. “CASP survey data are extremely important in helping us figure out how well — or how poorly — frog and toad populations are faring, both in numbers and in distribution.”
From there, we can start making decisions on how to ensure their long-term survival.”
The workshop at Camp Agape is the first of three that Hall and Mike Campbell, an educator with the Wildlife Commission, are conducting on amphibians and reptiles this spring.
The next workshop, “Amphibians of Eastern North Carolina,” will be held on April 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cool Springs Environmental Education Center in Craven County. “Amphibians and Reptiles of Eastern North Carolina” will be held at Carolina Beach State Park on April 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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 about the workshop, contact Hall at 252- 917-1683, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Campbell, 252-670-0090, email@example.com.
For more information about N.C. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, visit http://ncparc.org/.