Spring Break 2012


During spring break of 2012, the Group Investigation in Herpetology class toured the southeast to learn about some of the ongoing herpetology research in the region and to participate in fieldwork. Our first stop was the Savannah River Ecology Lab on the Savannah River Site, where we spent our first night capturing American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) by hand on Par Pond. Our second day there, we toured the facility, checked traps and coverboards at the SREL conference center and near Phelps Pond, and searched along several of the drift fences on the site. We drove south to Key Largo, stopping at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, where we streched our legs and got a chance to see a wide variety of reptiles, including all 23 of the world's recognized species of crocodilians. Our first day in the Keys, we traveled north to the Everglades, where we walked Anhinga Trail and radiotracked four Burmese Pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) as part of an ongoing USGS study to assess the impacts of invasive Burmese Pythons in the Everglades. During our second day in Florida, we spent the evening lending a hand with an ongoing Mangrove Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin rhizophorarum) mark-recapture study (part of a larger investigation into impacts of hydrological restoration) by capturing Mangrove Terrapins within the Everglades National Park's Big Sable Creek Complex. We spent the following day searching for invasive species around Crandon Park and walking the beach after dusk, in search of any Leatherback Sea Turtles. Our last day in Florida, we drove to Crystal River and got a chance to jump in the river and snorkel with manatees. After a drive up to Alabama's Conecuh National Forest, we radiotracked some Indigo Snakes (Drymarchon couperi) that had been released as part of Project Orianne. That night, we spent some time conducting a calling survey at one of the ponds onsite. During our return trip to Davidson, we made a stop at the Atlanta Zoo, where we were able to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the herpetology wing.

 

Species Found:


Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)   Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)   Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)   American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)   Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)   Green Frog (Rana clamitans)   Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)
Two-Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means)   Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata)   Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata)
Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)   Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)   Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus)
Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)   Common Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)   Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)
American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)   Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox)   Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus)
Florida Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni)   Florida Green Water Snake (Nerodia floridana)   Black Racer (Coluber constrictor)
Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)   Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus)   Mangrove Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin rhizophorarum)
Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirrela)   Common Agama (Agama agama)   Large-headed Anole (Anolis cybotes)
Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)   Spotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti)   Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)
Red Hills Salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti)   Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita)


Some Photos:

 

 

Just one of the turtles at SREL

 

Behind the scenes at the Atlanta zoo

 

An Indigo Snake at the zoo

 

 

Tracking pythons in the Everglades

 

Tia shows off a Red Hills Salamander

 

Digging out an Indigo Snake

 

 

An American Alligator

 

A bog turtle at home in the zoo

 

Cormorants in the Everglades

 

 

A juvenile Cottonmouth near a drift fence at SREL

 

A Fly River Turtle at SREL

 

A juvenile Eastern Mud Turtle

 

 

A beaded lizard in the zoo

 

A Boelen's Python thinks it's feeding time

 

Getting up close and personal with a Mata Mata

 

 

An Anhinga dries off in the Everglades

 

Catching alligators at SREL

 

Measuring Mangrove Terrapins in the Everglades

 

 

Going for a swim with manatees in the Crystal River

 

Jackie examines a Mangrove Terrapin

 

A manatee in the Crystal River

 

 

Elizabeth poses with a terrapin

 

An albino alligator at the Alligator Farm

 

Posing with a Florida Softshell in the Everglades

 


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