A research project produced by the University of North Georgia’s Dr. Norman Leonard, lecturer of biology, and his team has been chosen to be presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Southeastern Partners in Reptile and Amphibian Conservation (SEPARC) in Covington, Louisiana in February. The research was conducted by Jessica Murray and Sabrina Jones during the summer and early fall of 2014.
Murray and Jones investigated the effect of trail-side streams on salamanders that live in the same part of the forest. The project aims to pinpoint the terrestrial effects on stream-side trails and understand the impact of human activities on the natural world. The primary finding showed there is a strong positive correlation between salamander diversity and the trail distance from the stream.
The results will be used by land managers within the U.S. National Forest Service areas to protect sensitive salamander populations while also allowing people to hike and camp as desired.