For nearly a decade, Clint Fulsom has been involved with efforts to contribute to the conservation of amphibians & reptiles.
This includes participating in hundreds and hundreds of educational presentations on these animals, where co-existence and preservation has been promoted. He has helped legions of individuals interact and observe these animals in a safe and educational atmosphere. Highlights include events at King Town’s Private School, the Quinte Conservation Area, Queen’s University, and St. Lawrence College.
Additionally, he has observed literally thousand and thousands of these animals in the wild, both across Canada and the United States. This includes the Eastern Box Turtle (listed as Vulnerable IUCN), the rarely seen Eastern Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus amoenus), and the endangered Hellbender Salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis).
According to data from the Ontario Amphibian & Reptile Atlas and iNaturalist, Clint has submitted observational records and data for species where no data had previously existed.
His observational records also earned him a Turtle Tally Award from the Toronto Zoo. Around the same time Clint appeared in media throughout the Kingston area to further raise awareness for turtle conservation.
Clint has also taken part in many efforts to assist snakes, turtles, and frogs across roads, as roadkill presents a major problem for these animals.
In 2012 during a hike to the Frontenac region of Ontario, Canada with a friend Clint found many Eastern Red-back Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), Blue-spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma laterale), and Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). Seeing these amazing creatures in the wild made him realize that there was very few advocated that focus solely on salamanders. Given that amphibians are one of the most at-risk group of animals it made sense to develop an outreach education project that focused on one of the most overlooked group of animals, the salamanders.
During 2012, Clint and his project partner/friend developed an outreach education project called ‘Save The Salamanders’. The projects goal is to raise awareness of the threats these amphibians face and what we can do to help them. Save The Salamanders has been featured at many venues including Queens University, Trent University, St Lawrence College, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and many more.
Clint’s initial involvement in the project was to collect salamander observational data for many other organizations to use for scientific research. The collection of this data is very important as it increases the collective knowledge base of these amphibians, and helps us to gain a better understanding of their distributions and behaviours. He has also designed the Save The Salamanders webpage from the ground up, as well as assisting and giving live presentations on various amphibians and reptiles.
His project partner Matt, has decided to take a leave from the project to pursue other endeavours, so with the help of others, Clint has continued to run the Save The Salamanders project so people may continue to learn about these wonderful creatures. He has recently been featured on CBC news where he promoted the conservation of salamanders.