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Salamander Search and Geology Creek Walk

February 9, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

This Walk is Full

Proctor Creek is one of the major tributaries of Atlanta’s section of the Chattahoochee Rvier, rising nearly in downtown Atlanta and running west through Atlanta neighborhoods north of I-20, gathering smaller streams along it way.

Join us for a special walk along Proctor Creek near Grove park with Mark Mandica of the Amphibian Foundation who shares fascinating facts about these elusive creatures, that are often endangered and depend on our water-rich urban greenspaces for survival. (Any found will be returned safely their habitat.) 

Salamanders in fact put the Southeastern US at the top of the global biodiversity chart, leading the world in the number of different salamander species. Perhaps that’s because our native ecosystem is much older and richer than other parts of the US, and indeed much of the world.

The older forest slope and rocky stream area should be an ideal location for salamanders, but impacts to the creek may have impacted this habitat — we’ll see what we find, and we’ll learn a lot about salamanders, which in fact put the Southeastern US at the top of the global biodiversity chart.

Geologist Rob McDowell also joins us to tell us about some of the unusual rock formations we’ll find in the creek at the end of our walk, likely formed far back in earth’s history, when the continents of North America, Africa and others drifted around the planet — like slowly moving bumper cars.

We’ll walk about 1-1.5 miles on natural trails, on mostly flat areas, and we may do a little walking off trail in wet places.

To register (RSVP) click HERE – details and directions sent to registered participants. A donation of $15 or more helps support our programs.

 Note: This event is rain or shine – amphibians love rain!

More about Mark Mandica: Mark is the Executive Director of The Amphibian Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and conservation of amphibians. His work puts him on the front line in the efforts to conserve declining native and tropical amphibians. He received his B.S. from UMass where his thesis focused on the ephemeral wetland ecology of amphibians. He then went on to the American Museum of Natural History in NY where he worked as a Curatorial Assistant before moving to South Florida for graduate school at UMiami. During the course of his studies, it became increasingly difficult to simply find amphibians outdoors, and as a result, he has joined fellow scientists and naturalists to address the global amphibian decline crisis. Before founding the Amphibian Foundation in 2016, he managed the amphibian conservation program at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Mark is also a professional scientific illustrator with works published in textbooks as well as the journals Science, Nature, Journal of Experimental Biology, Zoology, American Zoologist and many others.

Mark now dedicates the majority of his time towards conservation efforts aimed at reversing amphibian declines in the southeast US and abroad, and teaching amphibian biology, ecology and conservation at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.

Above: Marbled Salamander; and top: Red Eft (newt) photos © Kathryn Kolb


February 9, 2019
10:00 am - 12:00 pm