The Garden and our Amphibian Conservation Program featured on the Weather Channel

On Friday, The Garden was featured on the Weather Channel's morning show AMHQ. Sam Champion, Maria LaRosa, Mike Bettes (pictured above) and Anaridis Rodriguez were here to do the show and conduct interviews with Garden staff, including me — for a moment — to talk about the Amphibian Conservation Program. To see the video, click below ...

The producers wanted to have amphibians on the show, and originally requested some of our most colorful amphibians to go live on national television. I was planning on showcasing Phyllobates terribilis, a bright yellow and potentially lethal Poison Dart Frog as well as Cruziohyla calcarifer, one of the larger Phyllomedusines (Leaf frogs) with brilliant yellow-orange flash coloration hidden by a leaf green dorsum. Friday morning, however, with temperatures still in the 40's, I informed them wouldn't be safe for our tropical amphibians, and substituted them with 2 of our native amphibian species. Lithobates capito, the Carolina Gopher Frog and Aneides aeneus, our female Green Salamander from Pigeon Mountain. The anchors (Mike and Maria) did very well handling the critters and Maria was particular fond of the salamander which was not shy at all and was walking up and down her hands during the show. It was nice to be able to raise some awareness for these threatened species of amphibians and our program.

I had a minute before the segment to show Mike and Maria how to handle the animals safely, and so they wouldn't jump out of their hands.
The WC staff was genuinely interested in what we are doing here, and the well-being of our imperiled amphibians.


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