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Outdoors ‘Salamander Soiree’ at the Highlands Nature Center

The Zahner Lecture Series, held every summer, has been a tradition of the Highlands Biological Station for decades. This summer, the Highlands Biological Foundation is introducing new events and programs to the Thursday series in addition to our traditional Zahner Lectures – such as workshops, family events, and guided interpretive hikes - that focus on the beauty and biodiversity of the Highlands Plateau.

“Think About Thursdays” will kick-off on June 2, at 6 p.m. with “Salamander Soiree.” The event will feature a reception and games, followed by a brief lecture about salamanders.

Award-winning local author Cathryn Sill and wildlife illustrator John Sill will join us to sign copies of their acclaimed “About” series of children’s books, and we will also announce the winners of the Salamander Art Contest.

The southern Appalachians are one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperature world, especially regarding salamanders. More species of salamanders exist in the Southern Appalachian Mountains than anywhere else in the world, and nowhere are they more abundant. Not only is the Highlands plateau a hot spot for salamanders, the Highlands Biological Station is world-renowned for several classic studies of salamanders conducted through the Station. If you want to learn more about these fascinating creatures, there’s no better way than to come to the Salamander Soiree from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Highlands Nature Center.

After the Salamander Soiree, attendees are invited to come back to the Nature Center at 9 p.m. with a flashlight for the “Salamander Meander,” featuring a short presentation followed by an opportunity to hike with herpetologists along the Biological Station’s Garden Trails to search for salamanders. Advanced registration and a fee of $5 per person are required due to limited space, and participants of the Salamander Meander must be over the age of seven. To reserve your spot, call the Nature Center at (828)526-2623.

For more information on our Think About Thursdays series, or to become a member of the Highlands Biological Foundation and show your support for our activities; call (828)526-2221 or visit www.wcu.edu/hbs.


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