PAUL SMITHS - Amphibians in the Adirondacks face a wide range of challenges, but a new project aimed at citizens and scientists alike could help ease some of those threats, a local scholar says.
David Patrick, a Paul Smith's College professor, is director of the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory.
The ATBI is organizing a series of hour-long, family-friendly workshops to show people how to monitor amphibians and their habitats. Researchers will use the data collected by observers in order to help with amphibian conservation efforts.
Habitat destruction, invasive species and diseases, climate change and deaths caused by vehicles have led to declines in many of the 32 species of amphibians - 14 frogs and toads and 18 salamanders - found in New York state, according to the ATBI.
"One of the best ways to help in conserving these animals is to learn more about where they are currently found, and the types of habitats they are using," Patrick said. "These workshops will show where you can learn more about these animals, how to identify them, where to find them, and the information that can be collected to aid in their conservation."
The ATBI is a coalition of several academic institutions, state agencies, non-profit organizations and other groups.
Workshops are free and open to the public. They are scheduled for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:
-Tuesday, March 29, Paul Smith's College, Joan Weill Adirondack Library, Adirondack Room.
-Thursday, March 31. SUNY-Potsdam, Stowell Hall, Room 211.
-Wednesday, April 13, Adirondack Interpretive Center, Newcomb.
Prof. Glenn Johnson of SUNY Potsdam, co-author of "The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State," will host the events at Paul Smith's and SUNY-Potsdam; Stacy McNulty, an ecologist with SUNY-ESF, will host the event in Newcomb with Patrick, who is also director of Paul Smith's Center for Adirondack Biodiversity.