In the past few years, Mount Rainier National Park has been infested with a severe case of Herpes. Herpes (pronounced herps) is short for Herpetology which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. As part of the parkwide Old-Growth Study, Herpetologists were collecting amphibians from selected study sites to find out if any species were dependent on Old-Growth habitat.
Three different methods of collection were used in the study: aquatic surveys, time-constrained searches and pitfall trapping. The study plots were spread over old-growth, mature and young forest type stands. The species collected inside Mount Rainier National Park were:
Although no definite conclusions can be drawn from the small samples collected, there were certain patterns evident that show potential correlations.
As the Old-Growth Studies continue, perhaps we will learn of other species besides the Northern Spotted Owl that are dependent on this diminishing habitat.
By Lynn Arthur
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