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Watching Over Washington’s Whistle Pig

Citizen scientists are bolstering our understanding of the Olympic Peninsula's endemic marmot

In July 1997, in the high country of Olympic National Park in Washington State, Nina Pitts and Steve Zenovic watched two plump, furry marmots sliding down a snowfield. “They slid fast on their bellies down the steep slope,” recalls Pitts. “When they…
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by: Betsy L. Howell – June 20, 2018

The Snake Lover

A Virginia herpetologist fosters respect for reptiles

“It’s a rainbow!” shouts J.D. Kleopfer. As I come running from where I am also searching for snakes, I see a beaming Kleopfer, Virginia’s state herpetologist, holding a slender, three-foot long snake with prominent red and gold stripes. Photo by Betsy Howell…
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by: Betsy L. Howell – September 25, 2017

Plastic Bottles and Cave Divers Aid in Quest to Document an Elusive, Subterranean Critter

The Georgia blind salamander could be an indicator species for the health of the Floridan aquifer, but scientists don’t know if it’s thriving or declining

“Every biologist thinks his or her species of interest is the canary in the coal mine,” says John Jensen, state herpetologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “But the Georgia blind salamander, in my opinion, really fits this analogy better than…
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by: Betsy L. Howell – November 29, 2016

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