Mr. McDarby’s AP Environmental Science students have spent the month of October assisting the Columbia Land Conservancy with their ongoing study of the salamander populations in the Greenport Conservation Area next to Hudson Junior/Senior High School.
Students have visited three different sites representing three distinct habitats within the property. At each site, the class looked under 20 boards and recorded the number and type of salamanders they found (as well as any other organisms that may be under the boards).
The class was mainly interested in the red-backed salamander in this study. The students also looked for any signs of predation on the salamanders by examining whether or not they had lost part, or all, of their tail. This study will continue for years in an effort to monitor population fluctuations in the salamanders. Since salamanders (and other amphibians) are indicator species, their decline would be an early indicator of a potential problem within the Greenport Conservation Area.