Sunday, April 19, 2009

04-18-09 Chytrid Testing

Naturalist Tim Krynak led the Future Scientists through amphibian chytrid testing this week at the North Chagrin Reservation. Chytrid (short for Chytridiomycosis) is a genus of water-bourne fungus that is thought to be a major player in the global amphibian decline. To read more about chytrid, a good overview can be found here. To read more about the Future Scientists' session, scroll down below!
Before testing, the Future Scientists found a garter snake. Jonathan got musked. Chuck-Norris style.
How to look scientific:
Clipboard: check.
Nets: check.
Fancy glove: double check.

Here's a pickeral frog we caught for testing. Note the rectangular spots and the yellow leg-flash.
This little piggy went to the market... This little piggy stayed home... This little piggy got tested for Chytrid.
Redback salamander. Looks menacing, doesn't it?

No, we are not measuring the perfect finger-to-thumb ratio of this lovely hand-model. Somewhere, there is a salamander whose snout-to-vent ratio is being scrutinized.
The Future Scientists also got to help put in some pool measuring posts!

Mount Union College will be running the tests for our Chytrid sampling. If you are interested in finding out the results, keep up with the blog and results will be posted as they come in.


Julia said...

Jeff, reading through your blog reminds me so much of a book I read a few years ago, Annie Dillard's 'A Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek'. She gets all sorts of poetical about hiking around her house, and does things like observe a Giant Water Bug turning a frog into goo and hatch praying mantis eggs in her house. I think you two would get along very well, if only on paper.

Eli Hanley said...

Here is a petition trying to get governments worldwide to give better support to the amphibian crisis.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the cool suggestions, guys!

I'll definitely have to check out that poetic, Pullitzer-prize winning account of frog evisceration.

I saw one of the groups associated with the amphibianark was the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Wouldn't that be a cool group to belong to - even just for the acronym? WAZA, homeys!!!!