Environmental Education Videos Page 2

The District has been making some educational videos about the environment. Click on the heading links below and see what you can learn. 

While hiking along Rattlesnake Run during our latest outreach event, Jefferson County Conservation District Staff member, Dana Grabowski spotted an incredibly unique critter. The spotted salamander is a common salamander in PA, but often not seen because it prefers to live underground. It reaches adult sizes that range from six to nearly eight inches! As you probably guessed, the large spots along its back serve as a great identifying feature for this salamander.
Spotted salamanders make their homes in the hardwoods of Pennsylvania with a pond or wetland nearby. They spend most of their time beneath ground level but will also conceal themselves in moist areas beneath moss covered rocks or stones and among piles of leaves and other debris. Like all salamanders, the spotted salamander is carnivorous. They eat worms, slugs, spiders, and insects. 

Staghorn Sumac is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 16' tall by 20' broad. It has alternate, pinnately compound leaves 10–22 in long, each with 9–31 serrate leaflets 2 1/4–4 1/4 in long. Leaf petioles and stems are densely covered in rust-colored hairs. The velvety texture and the forking pattern of the branches, reminiscent of antlers, have led to the common name "stag's horn sumac".

A crayfish's activity centers around the abundance of food within its environment. Crayfish that have access to an abundant food supply tend to stay under the safety of a rock or log. A crayfish that has a limited supply of food will spend almost all of its time foraging for food. Crayfish will consume both plants and animals. Some common food sources for crayfish are aquatic plants, mollusks, insects, tadpoles, amphibian eggs, and small fish. Also taken opportunistically are small rodents and even small birds. A young crayfish will consume 1 to 4% of their total body weight in food each day. Adults only need to consume 0.3 to 1% of their body weight in food daily to survive. If a living food source is not available, crayfish will consume carrion. Typically, crayfish tend to forage for their food at night 

A floodway is the channel of the river or stream and the adjacent land that must remain free from obstruction to allow flood waters to pass. When the floodway is obstructed by buildings, structures, or debris, flood waters will back up, resulting in greater flooding potential upstream. 

Would you like to learn some interesting facts about birch trees? Watch this video and Lexie Arkwright, Watershed Specialist for the District, will tell you more about them. 

This video discusses things to look for to decide if there might be wetlands in your area. Now is a great time to get outside and see what nature has to offer 

An annual plant that often occurs in dense stands, it is especially adapted to hummingbird visitation; but bees and butterflies are also important pollinators. If the leaves are submerged, they have a silvery look. The stem juice is said to relieve itching from poison ivy and has also been used to treat athletes foot. 

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