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Monday, June 13, 2016

Glen Providence Park Amphibian and Reptile Walk - June 2016

Dusky Salamander - notice flat tail and large hind legs
           I attended a Reptile and Amphibian walk at Glen Providence Park in Media on Saturday June 11th along with eight other folks including Tom Bush from the BCDC. The walk was led by Kyle Loucks, the South East Regional Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS) – a project to gather valuable data for study and conservation of amphibians and reptiles (“herps”). 
              Kyle started off leading us to a seep, which is a small wetlands area, in search of salamanders. After a few minutes of tossing some rocks in the mucky habitat we were treated to a Dusky Salamander. The Dusky is a lungless salamander that breathes through its skin. The tail is flattened in a vertical direction and the larger hind legs help identify this species.
              We then moved to a small tributary and almost immediately Kyle found a Northern Water Snake fishing on the bottom of the creek. We were able to capture the snake and determine it was a small male.
Northern Water Snake

Out of focus but snake coming up for a breath of air
A somewhat better view

           As we moved to the small lake we were able to spot several species of turtles. We found Red-eared Slider, Red-bellied Slider (Cooter), Eastern Painted Turtle and Yellow-bellied Slider.
Yellow-bellied Turtle - notice the large yellow stripe on face
            We were also treated to Bullfrog, Green Frog and a Pickerel Frog which was captured for two seconds but managed to escape from the grip of Reese, the son of Stephanie our trip organizer. So we found nine specimens of Amphibians/Reptiles which I thought was pretty good, however we missed both Alligator and Crocodile. Better luck next year.

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