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Huckleberries Online

Fri., Sept. 13, 2013, 8:35 a.m.

Experts Study Idaho Wildlife Species

This spotted frog was caught in a small lake north of Priest Lake on Wednesday, September 4 by ID Department of Fish and Game technician Andy Gygli . The frog is part of multi-species baseline initiative study in the Idaho Panhandle. SR photo essay by Kathy Plonka here.

Molly Wiebush knelt in a shady spot by a downed log, turning over rocks and shredding rotten wood as she searched for signs of gastropod life. Spending the summer chasing snails and slugs has given the Idaho Fish and Game technician an appreciation for how elusive the forest decomposers can be. Snails the size of sequins are difficult to spot. And with their camouflage coloring, slugs blend into the leaf litter on the forest floor. “It’s really like a treasure hunt,” said Wiebush, admiring the variegated markings on a hemphillia, or jumping slug, that she pulled from a piece of bark. New efforts to document wildlife in the Idaho Panhandle and northeastern Washington include the often-overlooked inhabitants of streams, ponds and decaying vegetation/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Does it make you queasy to handle frogs, toads, salamanders and/or slug?

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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