Virginia Working Landscapes is participating in ongoing research on wood turtle and salamander populations in northern Virginia.
Wood turtles are a threatened species in most of their range, including northern Virginia. Populations are believed to be declining in Virginia, and Smithsonian researchers are attempting to determine the status of the population in Virginia, as well as other important research such as movement ecology.
As the most abundant vertebrates in eastern North American forests, salamanders provide the link that connects the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and provide the flow of nutrients throughout the food web. Salamanders are also very sensitive to pollution and therefore provide excellent indicator species for environment health.
Landowner cooperation and concern is major factor in the Smithsonian research as well as in conservation of these species.