Scouting for Salamanders | Highlands Biological Station
The Plateau’s beloved salamanders will get their time in the sun (though they prefer leafy underbrush and shaded shorelines) when Highlands Biological Station’s Facebook page offers a pair of close-up programs – Nature 101 at 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, April 20; and Salamander Saturday, May 1.
Did you know that we live within the Salamander Capital of the World? The Southern Appalachian Mountains contain more known species of salamanders than any other comparable-sized region in the world! To top it off, North Carolina has more salamander species than any other state in the country, with the 64th species described just last year.
So what is a salamander, and why is having so many worth celebrating?
To learn the answers to these questions, keep an eye on the Highlands Biological Station’s Facebook page (@highlandsbiologicalstation) Saturday, May 1, as we participate in “Salamander Saturday.”
This initiative was started by the Foundation for the Conservation of Salamanders to raise awareness about salamanders, their habitats, and their role in the ecosystem.
As part of the celebration, we’ll be featuring one of the resident salamanders at the Highlands Nature Center and covering interesting facts about these amphibians, such as how some species breathe directly through their skin, and how scientists often use salamanders as indicators of environmental health. We’ll also be showcasing videos featuring salamander researchers who were awarded ‘Grants-in-Aid of Scientific Research’ by the Highlands Biological Foundation over the past several summers.
You can also get ready for “Salamander Saturday” by learning where to find our slippery friends in the Highlands Biological Foundation’s April Nature 101 program: Scouting for Salamanders!
In this free, virtual program, Paige Engelbrektsson, HBF’s Education Specialist, will take you on a herpetologist’s hunt around the Highlands Botanical Garden. Neither rain, nor shine, nor gloom of night will stop her – and in fact, these are perfect conditions for looking for salamanders. This program will premiere Tuesday, April 20, at 1:00 P.M. on the Highlands Biological Station’s Facebook page and will be available afterwards on the Highlands Biological YouTube channel.
For more information, call (828) 526-2623. The Highlands Biological Station is a multi-campus center of Western Carolina University.