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Activities and events sponsored by the Friends of the Nature Preserve are listed here.  Also, notable events sponsored by other groups that may be interesting to Nature Preserve folks can be found here.                                            
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Salamanders E-mail/Phone List

It's 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:  http://naturepreserve.binghamton.edu/Lore.html   

Usually the peak of the migration is between 8:30pm and Midnight. Hopefully, it will be soon before Spring Recess.  

I'll 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.


March 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.

Our 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

Here 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 conditions.