Virginia’s Mountain Salamanders

Kevin Hamed is a regular participant and field trip leader at the Mt. Rogers Naturalist Rally, and presented a great Friday evening program this past May, highlighting both the wonderful diversity and the real threats to the continued existence of the southern Appalachian’s mountain salamanders. Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Hi Fred, Enjoyed your video on the Appalachian “Mountain Islands.” These island of salamanders are truly remnants from our ice age. such an interesting piece — Thanks — barbara

  2. Are there any species of salamanders in Floyd County? Years ago, when I visited Vermont, I remember seeing salamanders – very intriguing creatures!

  3. Sure, we have salamanders, but not as many as Mt Rogers. I can’t remember any likely habitats on your place, Jeff, but find a seep or branch, turn some logs (then put them back in place) and some flat rocks along the edge of a stream and you’ll turn some up.

  4. My 2nd grader is looking to start a endangered species day at her elementary school here, in Herndon, VA. She is planning it in May, to corrospond with the national endangered species day she read about online. Any guidance or direction from you would be appreciated.

    Ruth McCoy Miles’s mom