Monday, October 28, 2013

Episode 185 (10-28-13): Hellbenders

Click to listen to episode (3:58)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 28, 2013.

This week, with Halloween approaching, we focus on an animal whose fearsome name and appearance, secretive habits, and preferred habitats make it mysterious, often misunderstood, and vulnerable.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds.

SOUND


You’ve been listening to sounds from field work and a symposium presentation on North America’s largest salamander, the Eastern Hellbender, which can grow to as long as about 29 inches.  The field research and the symposium excerpt—giving various other names used for Hellbenders—are both the work of Cathy Jachowski, a graduate student in Virginia Tech’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.  The Hellbender is found in Virginia from the New River basin westward, in several other states in the Appalachian Mountains, and in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri.  For some more details about this unusual amphibian, have a listen for about 90 seconds to other sounds from the Virginia Tech research team’s field work on October 4, 2013.

SOUND
.

With habitat changes, water pollution, and removal by humans all affecting Eastern Hellbender populations, t
he research at Virginia Tech hopes to answer questions about this remarkable aquatic animal’s biology, current distribution, and response to environmental changes.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 


[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 10/28/13]


Virginia Tech research team measuring an Eastern Hellbender sampled from a southwestern Virginia stream on October 4, 2013.

Acknowledgments:

Virginia Water Radio thanks Cathy Bodinof Jachowski for permission to record sounds of her research group on October 4, 2013.  Her research team on that day included Valentina Alaasam, John Hallagan, and Hank Vogel.  Also heard in this episode was Lindsay Key, a communications officer with the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech, who accompanied the research team on that day as an observing journalist covering Hellbender research. 

Sources and additional information:

1. Following are links to additional audio files related to this episode:
Longer sound sample from Virginia Tech Hellbender research team’s October 4, 2013, field work (6 minutes/28 seconds).

Presentation by Cathy Jachowski on Hellbenders research at the May 2013 New River Symposium in Radford, Virginia (16 minutes/47 seconds).

2.  A 3-minute, August 2012, video featuring Dr. Bill Hopkins, from the Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, showing a Hellbender and discussing its biology and connection to water quality, is available online at http://www.unirel.vt.edu/audio_video/2012/08/080912-cnre-hellbender.html.

3.  Information on Hellbenders in Virginia is available from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hellbender/.

3.  For a newspaper account on Hellbenders, please see Salamanders' disappearance raises pollution concerns, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/17/13.


4.  Detailed, scientific information on on Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is available from the AmphibiaWeb, a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of California, online at http://amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?where-scientific_name=Cryptobranchus+alleganiensis.

5.  For more information on Virginia amphibians:
*Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia
, by B.S. Martof et. al., University of North Carolina Press/Chapel Hill (1980);
*Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia
, J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); and
*Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS), online at  www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com.


Recent Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Episode 184 (10-21-13): "Clinch Mountain Quickstep" by Timothy Seaman

Click to listen to episode (2:40)

TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 21, 2013.

This week, we feature a music selection honoring a southwestern Virginia mountain and a nearby water-carved landmark.  Have a listen for about 35 seconds.


MUSIC


You’ve been listening to part of “Clinch Mountain Quickstep,” performed by Timothy Seaman and Phillip Skeens on the 2002 CD, “Sycamore Rapids,” from Pine Wind Music.  Clinch Mountain is a prominent ridge stretching across five southwestern Virginia counties and into Tennessee.  It forms the divide between the watersheds of the Clinch River to the north and the Holston River to the south, two of Virginia’s major tributaries to the Upper Tennessee River.  The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has described the Clinch River area as “one of the greatest hotspots for biodiversity in North America,” containing over 120 fish species and “more species of endangered and rare freshwater mussels than anywhere else in the world.”  This week’s “Clinch Mountain Quickstep” was recorded to honor one of the area’s landmarks: Natural Tunnel State Park.  The park is named after an 800-foot long, 100-foot high tunnel carved over hundreds of thousands of years by groundwater and by Stock Creek, a Clinch River tributary.  Thanks to Timothy Seaman for permission to use this week’s music.


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 10/21/13]


View from inside Natural Tunnel in Scott County, Virginia.  Photo courtesy of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, accessed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadcr/sets/72157603427187845/detail/?page=2.

The North Fork Holston River, shown here in Washington County, Virginia, in April 2010, flows along the southern side of Clinch Mountain in Smyth and Washington counties.
The Clinch River near Sneedville (Hancock County), Tennessee, just below the Virginia-Tennessee state line, 2006.  Photo courtesy of Jess Jones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Acknowledgments: “Clinch Mountain Quickstep” and “Sycamore Rapids” are copyright 2002 by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  Mr. Seaman’s Web site is http://www.timothyseaman.com/.

Sources:
Information on Clinch Mountain was taken from the Virginia Atlas and Gazetteer (2000 edition), DeLorme, Yarmouth, Maine; and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), “Clinch Mountain WMA,” online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/detail.asp?pid=21.


Information on Natural Tunnel State Park was taken from the Virginia DCR’s Web site on the park, at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/nat.shtml.
Information on the Clinch River and its watershed was taken from the Virginia DCR, “Clinch River: Global Hotspot for Biodiversity and Endangered Species,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/water_quality/healthy_waters/clinch.shtml; and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Clinch River,” online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/display.asp?id=147.



Recent Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Episode 183 (10-14-13): Last Bird Out

Click to listen to episode (2:54)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 14, 2013.

This week, we drop in on a crowd of eager flyers, as their long-distance flights are being announced but no planes are taking off.  If this sounds like a huge airport headache instead of a water event, well, just have a listen for about 45 seconds.

SOUNDS.


You’ve been listening to the names and sounds of eight kinds of birds that spend summer in Virginia but migrate from the state in the fall.  October’s arrival means the departure of many birds that find food and nesting sites around Virginia’s inland or coastal waters.  Fall also brings one of the two yearly massive passages over the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva Peninsula of migrating land-based birds, such as the Broad-winged Hawk, a forest-dwelling species.  The concentration of hawks, shorebirds, and other migrants along Virginia’s Eastern Shore makes it an important and popular location for monitoring bird migration.  For example, the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory maintains a migrant-counting platform in Kiptopeke State Park in Northampton County, and the annual Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival, headquartered in the Northampton County town of Cape Charles, celebrated its 21st anniversary in October 2013.  Thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the pelican sound, to Lang Elliott for permission to use the other bird sounds, and to several Virginia Tech colleagues for calling out the bird names.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
 
[Except as noted below, all Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 10/14/13]




An observation station for the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory in Kiptopeke State Park, Northampton County, Virginia, October 7, 2007.  The chart listed the birds of prey counted during that year’s fall migration on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
 
Immature Green Heron on a dock at Claytor Lake State Park, Pulaski County, Virginia, September 23, 2012.


Acknowledgments:

The sound of pelicans was taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Sound Clips” Web site, at http://www.fws.gov/video/sound.htm (accessed 1/17/12; as of 10/14/13, not available due to federal government shutdown).

The sounds of Snowy Egret, Broad-winged Hawk, Green Heron, Osprey, Least Tern, Piping Plover, and Sora were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at http://www.langelliott.com/ and the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.


Thanks to Eli Heilker, Sarah Karpanty, Kevin McGuire, and Tony Timpano for recording bird names.  Thanks to Dr. Karpanty also for her help in developing the idea for this episode.


Sources:

Information on the 2013 Eastern Shore Birding Festival was taken from the event Web site, at http://www.esvafestivals.org/, and the 10/9/13 “Outdoor Report” from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2013/10/09/.


Information on the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory program was taken from the program’s Web site, at http://www.cvwo.org/.


Information on Virginia fall-migrating birds was taken from Life in the Chesapeake Bay-3rd Edition, by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); *A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, by Chandler S. Robbins et al. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001); Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “All About Birds” Web site at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search; and the “Birds of North America Online” Web site from the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required for this Web site).


For a Virginia Water Radio episode on spring bird migration and its connection to Virginia waters, please see “Warblers Announce Spring Bird Migration,” Episode 157, week of 4-15-13, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2013/04/episode-157-4-15-13-warblers-announce_15.html.



Recent Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Episode 182 (10-7-13): Stormwater's On Your Street

Click to listen to episode (2:36)

TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 7, 2013.
This week, we feature another water-sound mystery.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what widespread water-resources issue happens every time you hear sounds like these.  And here’s a hint: if the answer doesn’t seep in, it’s all downhill from there.


SOUND.

If you guessed stormwater, you’re right!  The obvious thunderstorm sounds were followed by the sound of water flowing through a storm-drain pipe on the Virginia Tech campus during a rainy October morning.  Stormwater is rainfall or snowmelt that can’t seep into the ground, or infiltrate.  Water that can’t infiltrate flows over the land surface directly into water bodies or into drains and pipes that eventually lead to water bodies.  During that overland flow, also called runoff, stormwater can pick up soil, trash, chemicals, pet waste, and other potential water contaminants.  Along with these water-quality impacts, flooding and erosion from increased stormwater quantity are issues in developed areas, where removal of vegetation and the placement of pavement and other impervious surfaces significantly increase water runoff.  Such impacts, and the federal and state laws and regulations implemented in response, have made stormwater-management a costly and far-reaching water issue, affecting developers, industries, agriculture and forestry, local governments, and homeowners.


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.



SHOW NOTES
 

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 10/7/13]



Stormwater flow in Stroubles Creek on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, July 5, 2006

Stormwater-management pond on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, June 28, 2010.

Cartoon by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt), originally published “Wherever You Are, Stormwater’s On Your Street,” Virginia Water Central, August 2010 (pp.3-5), http://vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html.

Cartoon by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt), originally published in the “Focus on Stormwater, Virginia Water Central, September 2006 (pp. 11-12), http://vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html.



Acknowledgments and Sources: Part of this week’s script was taken from “Wherever You Are, Stormwater’s On Your Street” and “Stormwater Information Sources,” both by Danielle Guerin in the August 2010 issue of Virginia Water Central (pp. 3-7), online at http://vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html (scroll down to August 2010 in the newsletter archives).  The direct link to the newsletter PDF is http://vwrrc.vt.edu/pdfs/newsletter/054Aug2010.pdf.

Information on stormwater and its management and regulation was taken from the U.S. EPA’s “Stormwater Program” Web page at
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6, the EPA’s “Stormwater Basic Information” Web page at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/swbasicinfo.cfm,” and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s “Stormwater Management” Web page at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.



Recent Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.