Due to concerns about the coronavirus, we have cancelled our April 21st program. Thanks for your understanding, and take care.
Every spring, as temperatures warm and rain arrives, amphibians begin their eons-old tradition of migrating from upland habitats to wetlands to breed. These migration events, when timed correctly with the weather, can have thousands of amphibians within a mile of a pool hopping and crawling in synchrony towards their goal. However, their journey is increasingly impeded by a new barrier – roads. Amphibian populations have anecdotally been in decline because of vehicle impacts, and until recently were left relatively unnoticed. Now, citizens throughout New England are participating in their own spring-time tradition of standing guard on roads during the rainy nights of spring to assist amphibians in crossing while collecting valuable data for future conservation efforts. This talk will cover the history and goals of the Big Night project, how to participate, and the special role Unity College plays in the event.
Bio: Greg LeClair is a master’s student at the University of Maine where he studies environmental DNA (eDNA) applications in turtle conservation. He graduated from Unity College in 2018 with a BS in Wildlife Biology, where he participated in herpetological research projects on snakes, salamanders, frogs, and turtles with Dr. Matthew Chatfield. Greg is the project creator of The Big Night: Maine Amphibian Migration Monitoring and hosts a YouTube show about wildlife conservation, GregmentsBio. His research projects focus on applied threatened species conservation with a strong taste for reptiles and amphibians.