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Ohio Amphibian Conference, March 10

Saturday, March 10 is the date of the Ohio Amphibian Research & Conservation Conference. I'd say "annual", but it's not - this is only the second one, and it'll be a few years until the next. This intermittent schedule is all the more reason to attend, and learn about various gelatinous beasts.

The conference takes place in the Ohio Department of Transportation's stellar and easy to access conference center at 1980 West Broad Street in Columbus. The cost is only $35 ($20 for students) and includes some enviable perks. One of them is the brand spanking new Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, which quite appropriately features the visage of a spotted salamander, taken by Ohio's own Nina Harfmann.

Read on for a few teasers...

Sporting a mug only a mother could love is this eastern hellbender, our largest salamander. It also ranks high among our most imperiled animals, and Greg Lipps will elaborate on plans to save our hellbenders.

A bullfrog, the hellbender of the frog world, at least in scale. Tough as they may be, bullfrogs are not immune to Bd infection and Chelsea Korfel and Thomas Hetherington will tell this story.

Impossibly long and sleek is this northern ravine salamander - its body is nearly as lengthy as the name of this conference! Apparently they're not always faithful to their own, and Richard Lehtinen and colleagues will discuss apparent widespread hybridization between this species and the redback salamander.

A bizarre "unisexual" salamander lunges at your blogger's camera. I saw many on that dark and rainy night, and the story of the unisexuals is worth the price of admission alone. Lisle Gibbs and Katherine Greenwald will discuss their status in Ohio.

The skin of this Cope's gray treefrog is much like the bark of his perch - crusty and dappled with lichens. Or at least it appears to be. These masters of disguise are among our most charismatic frogs, and we'll hear about these frogs and the threats posed by nonnative mosquitofish from Geoffrey Smith and Johanna Harmon.

Finally, the subject of the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and arguably our most handsome amphibian, the spotted salamander. Rebecca Homan shares the results of a seven year study on the migratory habits of these mysterious subterranean dwellers.

There's much more. For a complete agenda, CLICK HERE. And CLICK THIS to register. Hope to see you there, among the largest swarm of amphibian enthusiasts to gather in Ohio since the first Ohio Amphibian Conference was held back in 2008.

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