Megan Gibbons Research Interests:

Monitoring Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum)

Pond breeding salamanders require several habitats to successfully inhabit an area.  In the Homewood Nature Area, there is a small temporary pond surrounded by deciduous forest that is ideal for spotted salamanders.  Every winter (January or February), dozens of salamanders migrate from their underground burrows in the forest to breed in the temporary pond.  However, the pond has been disrupted, and most salamanders actually cross a road and breed in Shades Creek, which has fish predators.  There has been recent interest in this population of salamanders in Homewood, including the first Annual Homewood Salamander Festival that took place in Spring 2005.  One of the salamanders from this population can be found at the Homewood LibraryNikki Rombough has recently begun to mark and recapture the salamanders in this population so that we may gain an understanding of the status (whether the numbers are increasing, decreasing, or stable).  The project is long-term, and requires help from BSC undergraduates every winter and spring.                                                            

 

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