Photo of the Month- July

Spring in the southeast: In search of Spotted Turtles

By Trina Wantman During spring 2019, the Longleaf Savannas crew spent the majority of our time conducting inventory surveys for Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata) in Georgia and Florida. As a Spotted Turtle Technician, I traveled between both states locating and surveying potential habitat for this cryptic species. Daily tasks included setting traps and conducting visual […]

Lighting A Match- June 2019

Revisiting our controlled burning areas in donor sites.

Six years of Spotted Turtle Monitoring

We recently wrapped up our sixth consecutive year surveying for Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata) in Georgia. This year was exceptionally challenging with dry conditions hampering survey efforts in late April and May. Many wetlands favored by Spotted Turtles were completely dry well before the end of the sampling season. A stark contrast to last season […]

Miranda’s Second Chance

Roads are bad news for turtles, especially during the late spring when most turtles leave the water to lay their eggs. For species that forage on land, such as Wood Turtles, the problem is far worse. During the summer, Wood Turtles roam fertile floodplains in search of food, sometimes ending up more than several thousand […]

Coral Snakes and their Mimics

Show someone from the southeastern U.S. a red, black, and yellow (or white) banded snake and a large portion of them will recite some version of the well-known rhyme meant to help distinguish Eastern Coral Snakes (Micrurus fulvius) from species with a similar appearance. Red on yellow kill a fellow. Red on black friend of […]

Fieldnotes – April 2019

Exploring South Carolina’s Lowcountry

            Spring has officially arrived with the promise of warmer weather and longer days. This year we will be spending a majority of the spring and early summer working on several Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) research projects. The Orianne Society began working with Spotted Turtles all the way back in 2014 when we began monitoring […]

Why Do Species Live Where They Do and Not Where They Don’t?

Growing up in the southern Champlain Valley of Vermont, I knew there were Spring Salamanders in the state, and always hoped to find one in the one of the many small streams scattered across the landscape. Topping off around 7 inches in length and with bright salmon-orange skin, you’d think they’d be easy to find, […]

The slimy salamander complex: A window into genetic divergence and the definition of a species

Travel to almost any deciduous forest in the eastern United States and you can potentially encounter one of the members of the slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus) species complex.  Slimy salamanders are large members of the family Plethodontidae or lungless salamanders, which rely completely on cutaneous respiration for gas exchange (i.e., they breathe through their skin).  […]