Category — CREW
Unfortunately, the two creeks in the Mobile River Drainage, where the TYPE and PARATYPE species of Necturus lödingi have been found, were covered with trash. Luckily, we had one other creek to examine. From a bridge overlooking the creek, we noticed a tiny leaf pack on a semi-steep bank about 20-feet up the creek. Within the first scoop, we caught two, then three, and then four waterdogs! While there wasn’t much further north, once we headed down stream we found another leaf pack. Again, two, then three waterdogs!
In total, we captured 16 juvenile waterdogs and 1 adult. [Read more →]
January 16, 2012 No Comments
The next day we headed towards south east Mississippi and stopped at a river in our target drainage. Unfortunately, no waterdogs. We drove to a neighboring county where several cited locality creeks were located and found two more creeks that looked promising, but still no luck. Finally, we headed toward the Coastal River Drainage. The area we surveyed wasn’t too deep and there were a few clumps of leaf packs. We started dip netting through the packs. Finally- the first waterdog! It was a hatchling. We continued dip netting and found a second one, this time a year-ling. After about 20 minutes of dip netting we found a sub-adult! We were happy to have located waterdogs.
We wrapped up and headed toward Mobile, AL for the night. We stayed at a hotel that had a resident population of Mediterranean House Geckos. Mediterranean House Geckos are a non-native species, but due to their choice of habitat, they don’t likely compete with native lizards. We found six geckos in an hour, and then it was off to bed!
January 16, 2012 No Comments
For the past few years, staff at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden have been conducting population surveys of the endangered Black Warrior Waterdog (Necturus alabamensis). They are also involved in a phylogenetic study that involves collecting tissue samples from waterdogs in all major US drainages (from North Carolina west to Texas, and south to northern Florida).
In November 2011, myself and some colleagues planned a trip to three drainages in central Alabama. Due to rain, we switched our plans and decided to travel to Mississippi and southern Alabama. If it rains 2-3 days prior to a trip, water levels of the rivers and creeks rise, making conditions difficult for finding waterdogs. It takes at least two days for the water level to drop back to normal.
We left the Zoo at 6:30 a.m. and headed south to Mississippi. We arrived at 4 p.m. Since it was still light outside, we decided to survey the first drainage on our list, the Big Black River Drainage. We drove to at least four different creeks in west central Mississippi. As we were gearing up in our waders and heading down to a creek, dip-nets in hand, a local stopped on the road and asked us what we were doing. We told him we were conducting salamander surveys and he was fascinated. He also made sure to let us know that “Mr. No Shoulders” was around and to be careful. [Read more →]
January 6, 2012 No Comments