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Announcing The Terrestrial Salamander Monitoring Program (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 1997 18:55:56 -0500
From: Gary Casper <gsc@csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: Announcing The Terrestrial Salamander Monitoring Program

            We Beg Your Pardon For Any Cross-Postings
           Announcement - USGS - PWRC - FreeLantz Solutions
            The Terrestrial Salamander Monitoring Program
     The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program,Patuxent Wildlife 
     Research Center, and FreeLantz Solutions today unveiled a new 
     monitoring program for the group of amphibians known as terrestrial 
     For those of you not familiar with the wonders of terrestrial 
     salamanders, we present here a brief list of some of their more unique 
     life history traits:
     - Extremely long-lived (20+ years)
     - High survivorship
     - Low fecundity
     - Often guard their eggs
     - Don't need standing water to breed
     - Take 2 or more years to mature
     - Digestion efficiencies of 90+%
     - Eliminated the energetic costs of lungs and ventilating
     - Respire directly through their skin
     - Can go for months, if not years, without eating 
     - Body temperatures fluctuate with the local substrates 
     - Store fat in their tails
     - Often the most abundant vertebrate (by weight and numbers) in      
     - High species diversity
     - Elegantly slender, behaviorally complex, and tastefully    jacketed 
     in colors from obsidian to ochre.
     The rationale for monitoring terrestrial salamanders rests upon: (1) 
     Their key role and high densities in many forests, (2) the stability 
     in their counts and populations, (3) their vulnerability to air and 
     water pollution, (4) their sensitivity as a measure of change, (5) the 
     threatened and endangered status of several species, and (6) their 
     inherent beauty and appeal as a creature to study and conserve.
     General Program Parameters:
     Purpose: To monitor long-term changes in terrestrial salamander 
     populations using a network of scientists, citizens, and 
     Where: Throughout North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico).
     Who Can Help?: Anyone that can identify salamanders to species.
     Where Can You Establish a Survey?: Anywhere there are terrestrial 
     salamanders. We are emphasizing both old-growth forests and 
     disturbed/fragmented forests.
     What Methodology Will be Used?: Primarily cover objects (boards placed 
     in forests and checked periodically for salamanders living under them) 
     but other techniques will also be accepted, following consultation 
     with the coordinators. 
     What Species are Targeted?: The tribe of lungless forest salamanders 
     (Plethodontids) that live in the soil and leaf litter of North 
     American forests and scrub. 
     Where Do I Get More Information and Register?: The scientific 
     rationale, full protocol, and even some methodological  experiments 
     are all located at the program's web site: 
     You can download an ASCII, WordPerfect 6.0, or PDF file of the program 
     from our ftp site: 
                 ftp://ftp.im.nbs.gov      /pub/sally
     You can get the documents e-mailed or snail-mailed to you by sending a 
     message to Sam Droege
     Or you can contact the program coordinator, Dan Lantz.
     Note, that participants have the responsibility of establishing the 
     site themselves, following the protocol, and salamander identification 
     (tricky in a some mountain areas).  We will review all sites and data 
     will be accepted only from those who pass the quality control checks 
     How Will Data Be Entered, Analyzed, and Reported?: The entire project 
     will center on the interconnections of the World Wide Web.  Those of 
     you without access to the Web can send your data to Laura Monti 
     (Lemmonti@aol.com) who will gladly enter it for you.
     Who is Sponsoring This Program?:   Patuxent Wildlife Research Center 
     and herpetologists from throughout North America have developed the 
     statistical sampling protocol.  FreeLantz Solutions, a private 
     commercial computer service in Oakdale, Minn., has donated time and 
     talents to development and implementation of the web-site, server site 
     integration, and an access database to manage data.  FreeLantz will 
     also coordinate the ongoing collection and reporting of data. 
     What Can An Interested Observer Do?: Consider starting a monitoring 
     site or becoming a state/provincial coordinator and contact Dan Lantz 
     The Future of Monitoring: Groups starting monitoring programs of any 
     kind may use the process developed here for terrestrial salamanders as 
     a model for the creation of other new monitoring programs.
     Many thanks.
     Dan Lantz
     Program Coordinator
     FreeLantz Solutions
     7015 15th St.N.
     Oakdale, MN 55128
     Laura Monti
     9 Knapp street
     Apt. 1
     Somerville, MA 02143
     Sam Droege
     Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
     12100 Beech Forest Drive
     Laurel, MD 20708-4038
     Go forth under the open sky, and listen 
     to Nature's teachings.
         Bryant - Thanatopsis
                  Another Patuxent Skunkworks Project

Gary S. Casper
Coordinator, Wisconsin Herpetological Atlas Project
Chair, Great Lakes Declining Amphibians Working Group
please direct correspondance for Gary S. Casper to:
Vertebrate Zoology Section, Milwaukee Public Museum
800 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53233
voice (414)278-2766   fax (414)278-6100   E-mail gsc@csd.uwm.edu