The Beginnings

I’ve had two weeks under my belt now at the BLM office in Rawlins, WY as a wildlife intern with a focus on amphibians and reptiles. For the first two days, I was at training with other CLM interns for CPR, wilderness training, bear safety, HAZMAT and Hydrogen sulfide awareness. The following Wednesday and Thursday we went into the field! We went around the Rawlins field office, which is a confusing term because it means the land that my office has jurisdiction, and “dip netted” various ponds and streams near roads. Most of these bodies of water had very little vegetation, but we checked anyways for amphibians. After checking several ponds with no luck, my partner, who did this last year with the same BLM office and under the same supervisor, found two salamanders! They were both the western tiger salamander who never metamorphosed, so they were probably neotonic. I had never seen one before, and it was huge, and cute! Later, I found out that Wyoming only has one species of salamander, the western tiger salamander. I was a little sad because I love salamanders and did my senior independent study on them! So I was hoping to find more.

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