why did the salamander cross the road?
to find love & make babies!
As the spring weather becomes warmer and rainier, salamanders (and other amphibians) are triggered to leave the safety of their forest homes, beneath fallen logs or leaf litter, to find love. Amphibians can only breed and lay eggs in bodies of water such as: wetlands, ponds, ditches, streams or lakes.
If that source of water is on the other side of a road, love can be a deadly pursuit. Every year hundreds upon hundreds of salamanders, frogs, newts and toads are killed on roads in their search for love and the survival of their species.
when do they migrate?
Migration can start as early as late March and run until the end of April. It all depends on the temperature, time of day and rain. The "best" combination is around 8:00pm on a rainy night when the temperature is 5°C or warmer.
The week of April 17, 2023 looks like it might be a good week for the migration based on the forecast.
Spot a Salamander - Save A Salamander
The Arlington Forest Protection Society is sponsoring a citizen science project to help salamanders and other amphibians during their annual spring migration. Big thank you to AFPS Member Amanda Suutari for bringing this project forward and for volunteering to coordinate.
For the first year of this project the primary goals are:
identify potential salamander crossing "hotspots" in and around Hampton and Bridgetown
scout out a few of the identified "hotspots" when conditions are right (e.g. night time, rainy, and 5° or warmer)
if we do find a migration in progress we will facilitate their safe crossing and establish onsite protection
And we need your help. If you have spotted salamanders or frog crossings in the past, or would like to get involved in scouting out potential locations we want to hear from you!
Future phases of the project will include creating road signs, raising awareness through workshops, and working with the municipality to temporarily close roads (if possible).
why save a salamander?
Salamanders like all amphibians are essential beings in our community and ecosystem. They feed many other species, eat many undesirable insects, in and out of the water, such as mosquito and fly larva and, because they have moist permeable skin, they are indicators of environmental health.
Plus they are super cute.
A healthy amphibian population = A healthy environment
Salamanders of nova scotia
Yellow-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
.Dark-grey to blue-black with two uneven rows of up to 54 yellow spots.
Preferred habitat deciduous and mixed forest near woodland ponds or wetlands.
Fossorial which means they spend most of their time underground except after a rain or for foraging and breeding.
Have regenerative abilities - they can regrow a part of a leg, tail, or even part of its brain - but it does take a massive amount of energy.
Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)
Two colour phases: red-back (grey black with a red/orange stripe) and lead-back (grey black with light to dark variations of brown)
Preferred habitat damp, mixed forest with plenty of woody debris.
Breathe through their skin and the through the lining of the roof of the mouth.
They do not have lungs.
Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
Bluish-black with blue and white flecks on its back and bluish whit spots on its sides and tail.
Preferred habitat deciduous forests and swampy woodlands.
Tail comprises 40% of the overall length of its body.
4 toes on front and 5 toes on the hind legs.