The Joy of “Lifer” Species

Our lab has six undergraduate/recently graduated students working in our lab this summer. Many of those students have specific projects they are focusing on, but we try to get students a little experience on all the different projects. While most of my work is lab-based this summer, I do still go out and do mark-recapture surveys for salamanders. The warmer it gets, the more the salamanders are underground, so this past week we spent some fun time searching for critters after the surveys were done. For many of the students, any species has a good chance of being a “lifer” (the first time they have seen that species in the wild). It is always a joy of finding lifer species with these students. It is refreshing and wondrous to see the species, and the science, from their perspective.

Student with salamander

Torey capturing some pictures of her first Red salamander (Psuedotriton ruber).

Student with snake

Hunter with his first Eastern wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus). It just so happens this is also one of my favorite species.

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