Amphibian Identification

NRTG’s MicroCourses offer a dynamic training pathway that’s as flexible as it is enriching to build expertise. Our Amphibian Identification course, spanning four hours, delivers in-depth training in an easily digestible format. It’s designed to maximize your skills for immediate application.   

While observing many amphibians can be quite challenging, the importance of being able to identify them is on the rise due to increasing interest in understanding their populations better. Given their utilization of both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, diverse array of characteristics across various life stages, diminutive size, and minimal environmental traces, we often need to employ resourcefulness in identifying amphibian species. In this course, we will delve into the optimal seasons and habitats for amphibian observation, methods for identification across all life stages, and techniques for auditory identification. The Amphibian Identification MicroCourse caters to environmental professionals seeking to expand their expertise in amphibian work or refine their skills, as well as to amateur nature enthusiasts eager to distinguish among amphibian species. 

Topics covered will include: 

  • Groups of amphibians and distinguishing features 
  • How to identify in each life stage 
  • Male/female differentiation 
  • Identifying by call (auditory identification) 
  • Habitat and seasonal land use: how it can help us with identification 
  • Using dichotomous keys  
  • Identification apps 

Course will be 4 hours long. 

Instructor Profile 

Charity Blaney, M.Sc., Wildlife Ecologist 

Charity has spent the last several years studying long toed salamander ecology in the Rocky Mountains of Southwestern Alberta. Her career stems from a passion for all things nature which began at an early age roaming the forests, rivers, and mountains of Northern British Columbia. Before university, she worked as a wilderness mountain guide and thrived being surrounded by wildlife such as wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines for weeks at a time, always wanting to know more about how they lived. Since then she has studied rainforest plants from a remote field station in Brazil, worked for a number of municipalities in invasive plant control, taught ecology labs at the University of Calgary, and botany and forest ecology at Northern Lights College. She loves her work as an instructor with NRTG for the opportunity to share her interests with others.