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#bioPGH Blog: Amphibians
Aug 13

#bioPGH Blog: Amphibians

By Lorren Kezmoh, Outreach Coordinator, Phipps Science Education and Research

Biophilia NetworkA resource of Biophilia: Pittsburgh, #bioPGH is a weekly blog and social media series that aims to encourage both children and adults to reconnect with nature and enjoy what each of our distinctive seasons has to offer. From the best times to plant seasonal flora and enjoy their peak blooms, to astronomical events and creatures to keep an eye and ear out for, Phipps will keep you in the know with what’s going on in our environment!

Did you know that Pittsburgh’s close proximity to several freshwater sources has made it an ideal habitat for several species of amphibians? Frogs, toads, and salamanders are especially prevalent this time of year throughout the wetlands and woodlands of our local parks. Spring peepers and American bullfrogs are a common sight and sound around lakes and ponds, while American toads prefer the cool damp leaf covered floor of woodlands, and salamanders the undersides of rocks and logs in shallow streams and creeks. Amphibians aren’t just neat critters to observe and catch, they also play a critical role as indicators of environmental health and even in human health and medicine! Amphibians have aided in the creation of treatments for many diseases, help control the insect population, and due to the extremely absorbent nature of their skin are one of the first species to indicate pollutants we might not otherwise see in our environment.

Connect to the Outdoors Tip: Whether you’re out and about in the parks during the day or at night, you’re bound to see or hear some of our native amphibians. See if you can identify who’s talking to whom by their croaks and calls. If you’re really fond of amphibians, consider building your own amphibian habitat in your backyard or helping out with local environmental cleanup efforts around the city!

Continue the Conversation: Share your nature discoveries with our community by posting to Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #bioPGH, and R.S.V.P. to attend our next Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting.

Additional Resources:
Amphibians & Reptiles - Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
Amphibians as Indicators of Environmental Health and Their Contribution to Humanity - Amphibian Ark
How to Attract Frogs, Toads and Other Amphibians - National Wildlife Federation
Frogs and Toads of Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission