APP March of the Salamander: Spotted Salamander Research in Algonquin Park
Hwy 60 at Km 43, Whitney, ON K0J 2M0
Location: Algonquin Visitor Centre
Event Type: Workshops
Algonquin Park is home to thousands, if not millions of salamanders, but few people observe these elusive amphibians on a typical trip to the Park. Join salamander researchers as they work to unravel the mysteries of salamanders in Algonquin Park during the early spring.
Imagine for a moment… You have spent the last 11 months living underground, hidden from view, and now, in early spring you emerge from your underground habitat to fulfill your duty of reproduction. You are only as long as your index finger; you crawl squat on your belly and have delicate, porous skin; you travel hundreds of metres through dense forest navigating under and around gargantuan logs and over patches of ice and snow to reach the place that matters most… the breeding pond.
This Experience Algonquin Workshop, presented by The Friends of Algonquin Park, will consist of a short session at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre where participants will get an insight into the ecology and life history of salamanders and other amphibians. Then learn specifically about the salamander species of Algonquin Park. Next we focus on the importance of salamander conservation and the ongoing research efforts to study salamander reproduction in Algonquin Park.
After this brief indoor session and a dinner break, the group will head into the field to observe Spotted Salamanders and Blue-spotted Salamanders during the peak of their migration and breeding season. We also hope to witness courtship behavior and assist researchers in the collection of important data for approved research.
Over the course of this workshop, participants will undoubtedly gain a better understanding and appreciation of Algonquin’s amazing salamanders and the importance of these species in Algonquin Park’s ecological integrity.
This workshop is limited to a maximum of 12 participants. This workshop is designed for adults, but keen youth with a supervising and participating adult are welcome.
David LeGros has been a reptile and amphibian enthusiast since the of age 3. Now in his thirties, he is employed as a Park Naturalist/Natural Heritage Education Specialist in Algonquin Park. In the past, David has conducted several field seasons of salamander research in Algonquin Park obtaining a Master of Science Degree in amphibian conservation. David’s research investigated the impacts of forest roads on salamanders.
Patrick Moldowan – Like his fellow salamander researchers, Patrick is fascinated by all creatures that creep, crawl, slither, and slime. He has assisted with the Algonquin Park salamander research project for the past 6 years while completing his Masters thesis studies on turtle reproductive biology. Patrick has broad research interests in ecology, evolution, conservation, and natural history and loves to travel in search of his favourite critters.
Steven Kell maintains a passion for amphibians and reptiles and loves to share his contagious enthusiasm for the natural world. Steven is an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, completing a degree program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Steven also conducts research as part of the long-term Snapping Turtle and Painted Turtle research project in Algonquin Park.
Damien Mullin upholds a deep interest in environmental conservation and a particularly keen interest in reptile and amphibian biology, naturally. He has been involved in outreach and educational stewardship programming about amphibians and reptiles in the Muskoka region. Damien is an undergraduate student at Laurentian University, completing a degree program in Zoology.
HOW TO REGISTER
Pre-registration is required. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 12 participants. This workshop is designed for adults, but keen youth with a supervising and participating adult are welcome. To register for this workshop, or for more information, contact Andrea Ruzzo at The Friends of Algonquin Park at (613) 637-2828 extension 236 by April 22, 2016. When you call to register, please have the following items ready: a contact phone number and e-mail address; and a Visa or MasterCard number. The cost for this workshop is $65.00 plus HST for members of The Friends of Algonquin Park. Non-members pay $85.00 plus HST for the workshop that includes a mandatory one-year individual membership to The Friends of Algonquin Park (a $20 value).
For this workshop, participants are required to supply the following:
– Appropriate clothing for both indoor and outdoor field conditions.
– Participants are encouraged to come prepared for the weather as this workshop is held “rain or shine”.
– Suggested equipment includes several insulating layers, rain gear, waterproof boots, and a headlamp for hands free viewing. Participants should also bring a change of clothes for after the workshop should they get wet.
– Participants are responsible for their own offsite transportation that includes approximately 40 kilometres of driving to a field research site.
– An evening meal. A dinner break will be incorporated into the Saturday workshop timing. During early spring limited offsite food services are available in close proximity of the Visitor Centre.
For this workshop, participants will be supplied with the following:
– A copy of related books including Reptiles and Amphibians of Algonquin Provincial Park and an amphibian identification guide;
– Information about the biology of Algonquin Park’s salamander species;
– Valid Park permit for the day of the workshop; and
– Expert instruction from David LeGros and other workshop leaders.
The Friends of Algonquin Park have scheduled this workshop for the traditional peak of salamander breeding in Algonquin Park to maximize opportunities for workshop participants to observe salamanders. Conditions beyond our control, such as environmental variables, etc., may alter these plans and participants should be willing and able to adapt for the best possible experience.
All workshop proceeds support the charitable work of The Friends of Algonquin Park including a portion directed to supporting ongoing salamander research.
Event information provided by The Friends of Algonquin Park.