Where’s an Amphibian When You Need Em’?

On a very warm afternoon, three environmental science students placed a long, flat, piece of plywood in front of one of WCC’s ponds in the woods, near the LA building. These three students were on an exciting quest to discover and find salamanders, newts, frogs, and other types of amphibians. But, every great scientist gets their moment of trial and error. We sure got ours!

My partners in crime and I thought it would be a good idea to choose amphibians as an interesting and fascinating topic to study and write blogs posts on. But, through the weeks, we found out that it was very hard and almost close to rare, to spot, catch, or find amphibians on WCC’s campus. Although, we continued to not give up on finding the unicorns of WCC’s exciting wildlife.

With extensive research and help from our environmental science teacher, my group and I found a great way to try to find a salamander, newt, etc; an amphibian trap! We received a long, flat, piece of plywood from our teacher. We thought hard about where to put our trap. We ended up putting the wood in front of one of WCC’s enchanting ponds in the woods. We set the wood fairly close to the pond, so that a salamander, frog, newt, or whatever could come out of the water and start living under the wood. We did this because salamanders like moist, shady areas and like to live under wood. After we set our trap in a good place, we left it there for a couple of days and came back to check it.


Our Amphibian Trap!


While my partners anticipated something big and ferocious under the plywood, I anticipated absolutely nothing. Because the board looked untouched and non tilted in any way like something like a salamander would’ve crawled under it, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing under there. 5 seconds later after the wood was lifted up for us to see, I saw that I was right. There was nothing under there except for various insects and smushed grass. My peers and I felt disappointed, but no flavor of defeat was tasted in our mouths. We were going to try again!


Nothing Under This Amphibian Trap!


So after thinking of another way we could try finding amphibians, one of my partners decided to place the wood over a big hole that leads into the pond (the one in the picture above). We thought that the salamander would come out of the water, and crawl up under the plywood and make a home. We left the wood for a few more days, and then checked on it. Again, there was nothing. We didn’t know what we were doing wrong and couldn’t think of any solutions, so we unfortunately gave up. And that was the end of our amazing quest to find the unicorns of WCC.


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