Salamander Crossing Brigades

Salamander Season 2015 is here!

ALL HANDS ON DECK!! TONIGHT WILL BE A BIG NIGHT!

The forecast is perfect for that unusual salamander migration event, a Big Night when most salamanders in the region move at once. Rain is predicted to all day,  becoming steadier late afternoon and into the evening, with temperatures rising.

Gather your supplies! Do you have fresh batteries in your nice bright flashlight? Reflective clothing? Flashing lights?

This is shaping up to be the biggest migration event we have seen in years, and I am hoping many of you will be able to get out (remember, salamanders might not hit the roads until 9 pm, so don’t assume nothing is happening if you cruise through at 8:30). Yes, it is a week night, but traffic also slows early so you won’t need to stay out very late.

I am hoping many of you will be able to get out. Please help us figure out where help is needed. Let us know where you plan to go and when you plan to be there by filling in the sign-up form linked to each site on the crossing map.

 

Become a Salamander Crossing Guard

Each spring, amphibians head to the breeding pools their progenitors  have used for many generations. Superimposed upon this ancient world, however, is a new world roads  and cars. In areas where salamanders, frogs, and toads are forced to cross even moderately busy roads, populations of these animals are likely to disappear. Helping amphibians safely negotiate road crossings is imperative to the long-term survival of these vernal pool breeding amphibians.

 

 

We Need You!

The links below open short videos on salamander crossing. They are the best place to start:

Part 1: Getting Ready

Part 2: Crossing Safely

Step #1: Sign Up for Alerts

Join the amphibian alert digital hotline by sending an email to Patti. Let her know where you live and she can advise on sites where you are needed.

Step #2: Choose a Site

Open the Google Map and locate the site(s) nearest you.

Step #3: Learn What to Do

Download the Become a Crossing Guard brochure. This provides the basic information you will need.

Step #4: Crossing Night Sign-Up

Because site coverage can be spotty, we have developed a new system that we hope will save more spotteds. Once you receive a BEEC hotline alert and plan to help, let us all know where you plan to be and when you plan to be there. Go to the sign-up sheet that is linked to the site on the Google Map.  This will only work if most of us use it!  This can also make the job of coordinating sites easier.

Step #5: Submit Your Data Electronically

Report what you find. Keep track of the species and numbers of each that you find and report to your site coordinator. If your site has no coordinator, print out a data sheet (zip/doc) to take in the field. BEEC has data sheets printed on waterproof paper. Contact Patti if you would like some mailed to you. Send your reports to BEEC at the end of the season, or better yet,  submit your data electronically here.

 Safety First!

Cars pose hazards to humans as well as amphibians. Crossing guards assist salamanders on rainy and sometimes foggy nights, with a goal of keeping cars from hitting amphibians—a potentially dangerous mix. Please protect yourselves, motorists, and the amphibian crossing program by being prepared with safety gear in advance of migration nights and by following safety guidelines while you’re out there.

 Safety Essentials:

1)  Light colored clothing

2) Reflective vests for everyone

3) Flashing clip-on lights for everyone

4) Signs with flashing lights attached to alert drivers in advance

5) When cars approach your site, step off the roadway

6) Park your own vehicles off the road and out of the crossing zone

Be a Better Crossing Guard!

Click here for hot tips for crossing guards.

Click here to be introduced to the amphibians.

 

Things to bring on a Salamander Crossing Night

Get ready in advance! You will NEED these things:

  1. Rain gear
  2. Reflective clothes
  3. Flashing clip-on light
  4. Bright flashlight  with extra batteries (headlights are not bright enough)

Optional:

  1. Camera
  2. Spatula for dead amphibians
  3. Clean bucket
  4. Salamander Crossing signs
  5. Clip on flashing lights for signs and self
  6. Amphibian identification sheets

BEEC Salamander Crossing Supplies

Salamander crossing signs:

These signs are 2′ x 2′ corrugated plastic, and come with a wire stand. They are durable and very portable! BEEC loans these sings to site coordinators and to anyone who plans to patrol sites that have no coordinator. If you think this might be you, email Patti to arrange pick-up or delivery. We also have clip-on flashing light to attach to the signs.

Sign recommendations:

The signs attract more attention if you clip a flashing light to them.
These signs often get stolen. Don’t leave them up when no guards are on duty.


Download ID & Data sheets: