Searching for evasive spotted salamanders at the Rice Center
By Diane Tennant
© March 15, 2010
Anne Wright reached into a bucket of salamanders, said “slimy,” and pulled one out anyway just as a gust of wind kicked up across the tailgate of her truck.
“Doggone it, I thought it was supposed to be warm today!” she exclaimed.
Beside her, Joy Ware cooed to the salamander as she stroked his tummy with a cotton swab. “It’s OK, baby.”
It was OK, because this one had been captured by two professors at Virginia Commonwealth University who think the salamander is, in general, undervalued by the public. With their research, they hope to answer a lot of questions.
The big one is: What’s it worth to you?
The salamanders migrate once a year when it’s cold and rainy.
Joy Ware, left, swabs a spotted salamander held by Anne Wright, a fellow professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, on the grounds of the Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences near Charles City.