Salamander Crossing Brigades

tobias spot-16 webThis beautiful spotted salamander was photographed at the Huckle Hill crossing site in Vernon by veteran crosser and photographer Tobias Gelston.

Salamander Season 2017 is winding down. Despite good conditions for amphibian movement on April 21, very few amphibians were seen. Does this mean they are done? There will probably still be amphibians moving on rainy nights through the rest of April, with most heading back to the woods. Please let us know if you get out and see any movement.

Thanks!

What are Salamander Crossings all About?

Each spring, a group of amphibians migrate from their forest habitat to the small wetlands where they congregate to breed. You have all heard the choruses of spring peepers, but how often have you seen one of these tiny frogs? How about a wood frog? And how often have you seen the largest salamander species in Vermont, the spotted salamander? All of these are abundant (if seldom seen) amphibians—but that will change in places where they must cross roads to reach their breeding pools. For many years, BEEC has been organizing Salamander Crossing Brigades, volunteers who help amphibians reach their breeding habitat by giving them a lift across roads.

The volunteers who help with this project not only save the lives of individual amphibians, but they help to safeguard populations of frogs and salamanders.

Find the Amphibian Forecast here.

Find out how to become a salamander crossing guard, learn more about the amphibians, and find hot tips here.

This map will help you find a crossing site near you.

Submit a crossing report here.

The 2016 Season

The season got off to a record early start, with frogs hopping in many places on March 10. A few salamanders were reported too, the earliest recorded movement since we began keeping track 13 years ago. The previous record was March 26 (just a few recorded at one of the warmer sites). Ideal salamander migration conditions are rainy, dark, and above 40°F, and the soil must also have had a chance to defrost.  Typically, amphibian migration happens in April in our area, though large migrations have happened at some sites during the last few days of March.

March 16 was a small migration night in many places, with frogs appearing in moderate numbers but just a few salamanders.

 

 See Scott’s latest skateboarding salamander video.

Become inspired to be a salamander crossing guard with the salamander breakdance.

Visit the photo gallery here .