Coverboards at Davidson College

     During the spring of 1999, students in Dr. Dorcas' Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Seminar put out over 80 coverboards in the forest throughout the Davidson College Ecological Preserve.  These coverboards were constructed of a biodegradable wood and distributed in a variety of habitats.  Coverboards provide an artificial, yet suitable microhabitat for many amphibians and reptiles.  Simulating a natural cover object, the coverboard attracts amphibians and reptiles who are looking for a good hiding spot. We periodically lift the coverboards and find snakes and lizards under the coverboards more directly exposed to the sun.  Coverboards in the woods and near the streams provide excellent habitat for salamanders.
     Unlike drift fences, coverboards do not need to be checked on a daily basis.  When we do check the coverboards, we usually do it in pairs.  This way, one person can lift the board while the other can quickly grab or observe the species hiding underneath.

Check out The Catawba River Corridor Coverboard Program

 

Photo credit: Mike Dorcas

 

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