getting close to the big night for the Yellow Spotted Salamander Migration.
Every year on the first warm rainy night of March (or maybe April this year),
the salamanders cross the Connector road (the closed back road) from CIW to the
Nature Preserve. You can see pictures of past crossings here:
the peak of the migration is between 8:30pm and Midnight. Hopefully, it will be
soon before Spring Recess.
be notifying e-mail lists to give a heads up when I think the big night is
going to occur, but it can be hard to predict. If anyone would like
to be on the Phone List this year send me your phone number with times that it
is appropriate to call (as in tell me "don't call after 10pm" and
"not during Spring Break" something like that) Of course, I
won't use your phone number for anything else, sell it, or stalk you with
it. Even if you have been on the list before send me an e-mail as I
dispose of the list each year.
of the Salamander: More Info: (w/thanks to Melissa Y. for some
better wording) – For most of the year, spotted salamanders live underground.
Every year the salamanders emerge in early spring to make their way to
the vernal pool or pond where they were born. Their trek is usually less than
300 yards, but because there are so many moving at once it allows observers to
see some of the most secretive amphibians in our forests. Here at BU,
they cross the Connector Road from CIW woods to the Nature Preserve.
Salamander ramps and migration have been featured in the latest Reptiles and
Amphibians of New York field guide. The run is usually during the first
warm rainy night of March which, in the last few years, has occurred around the
23rd to the 26th. The salamanders may start moving just after dark, but
I've had good luck between 8pm and midnight. The Upper Susquehanna
Coalition has a nice concise field guide page: http://www.u-s-c.org/html/vpfieldguide-spotted.htm
are some criteria for salamander movement: More specific information may be
found here: http://www.u-s-c.org/html/vpresearch.htm
A nice warm stretch where deep frost has begun to melt
Warm rain penetrating the ground
Rain or at least drizzle after dark - they typically just move after dark and
will rarely come out if there isn't enough rain to keep their skin moist while
traveling above ground.
Typically a good sign that the spotted salamanders are on the move is the
calling of wood frogs and spring peepers. If the frogs have begun to call, the
spotted salamanders are waking up too and just waiting for the right