Salamander Study Receives Award

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program received an award for the Ephemeral Pond Salamander Research Project that included work at two Door County Land Trust (DCLT) preserves and was conducted by Greg Burns, a Wisconsin Master Naturalist. The program’s work was recognized by the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs as the 2023 Outstanding Volunteer Project for its identification of an all-female unisexual ambystoma biotype – the first definitive observation of the biotype anywhere in Wisconsin, other than several northern Wisconsin counties. In 2019 Burns began observing salamander spring breeding migration activity in east-central Wisconsin. That initial research evolved into a multi-year, systematic, science-based project. In the spring of 2023, Burns collaborated with DCLT land program director Jesse Koyen when the study expanded to include research at ephemeral ponds – also known as vernal ponds – on DCLT preserves.