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Getting to the other side: How did the salamander cross the road?

 

by David LeGros,

Natural Heritage Education Specialist for Algonquin Provincial Park

 

 

This lecture was held at the Huntsville Public Library on Tuesday April 18, 2017 as part of Huntsville’s Earth Week events.

 

 

Synopsis

 

Eastern red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, in the juvenile terrestrial (red eft) stage of its life.

Eastern red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, in the juvenile terrestrial (red eft) stage of its life.

Habitat loss and fragmentation are among the most serious threats facing amphibians. While less noticeable than highways and with typically little vehicle traffic, extensive networks of logging roads also fragment habitats and some species avoid crossing these roads.

 

Woody debris is an important habitat feature for many amphibians, providing refuges and foraging opportunities for species sheltering underneath. Can these habitat features be used to help mitigate the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation by logging roads in Algonquin Provincial Park?

 

David discussed his research into low cost methods to mitigate the negative impacts of forest roads on various salamander species and whether this information provides a way forward for protecting salamander species from future road creation.

 

 

 

About David LeGros

David LeGros Photo

David LeGros is the Natural Heritage Education Specialist for Algonquin Provincial Park, where he shares his passion for the wildlife and wild spaces with visitors from across Canada and around the world. David is passionate about reptiles and amphibians and welcomes any chance to learn more about them.

 

As a boy, he turned lots of rocks and logs looking for salamanders and pulled toads and frogs out the window wells of his house. The skills he learned as a kid would eventually serve him very well in his professional life.

 

David’s graduate work at Laurentian University involved testing the use of woody debris on unused forest roads to mitigate some of the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation for amphibians, primarily salamanders. Like many experiments, they don’t always turn out the way you plan – to find the answer, leave no log unturned!

 

David lives in Huntsville.

 

 

David LeGros Lecture