Biology Class Participates In Conservation Work at Wildlife Preserves Near Valmeyer, Ill.

by News Bureau on Friday, Jun. 21, 2013

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 20, 2013 – Dr. Diane Wood, a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Southeast Missouri State University, led a five-day conservation course consisting of nine undergraduates and three graduate students during the week of May 20-24. The class worked with Clifftop Alliance, a consortium of private and public organizations that work to conserve natural areas in the Mississippi River bluff corridor of Illinois.

The group headed to the bluffs in Illinois to gain hands on experience by participating in conservation work at White Rock Nature Preserve and Salt Lick Point Land & Water Reserve during the day. They spent their nights camped at Bosch Memorial Park in Valmeyer, Ill.

The class assisted with restoration activities on the preserves that included removal of bush honeysuckle (Diervilla sp.), an invasive species in the area; posting signage along the White Rock Nature Preserve boundary; and hill prairie restoration. During a survey of the amphibians and reptiles at one of the hill prairies, the class discovered two individuals of the narrow-mouth toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) which had not been previously recorded on the preserve.

“The students did a great job and I am very proud of them,” Wood said. “They worked hard and hopefully were able to take something positive away from the experience.”

Wood also organizes other wildlife trips, and recently traveled to Colorado on a wildlife trip. For more information or to join one of her classes, contact Wood at dwood@semo.edu.