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Monday, June 16, 2014

Amphibian Monitoring: 2014 Season Wrap-up

Thousands of tadpoles and salamander larvae are now happily swimming about vernal pools thanks to the hard work of the dedicated Amphibian Monitoring Program (AMP) volunteers! Over 2 dozen volunteers spent 50 hours patrolling busy roads and helping amphibians get across safely. 

With the coldest March on record, Wood Frog migrations seemed delayed as the snow slowly melted in early April. But by the end of the month, things had warmed considerable and the cold winter had no effect on the timing of Spotted Salamander migration. The ‘big night’ in central Vermont occurred on Earth Day, April 22, and volunteers were out in force to help them as they migrated across roads. Vernal pool breeders continued to migrate for the next several weeks, and we even had volunteers out in early May crossing Spotted Salamanders in East Montpelier. 

Collectively, volunteers monitored 12 road crossings, documenting 10 species of amphibians. Over 500 individual amphibians were moved off the road, including an impressive 136 Spotted Salamanders! The rare Jefferson/Blue-spotted Salamander group was also documented at several locations. Five new crossing sites were located by volunteers in Randolph, Calais, Elmore, Wolcott, and Worcester. Additionally, 35 people attended the 3 trainings offered this year to learn more about amphibian migration and what they could do to help.

While our efforts for the Amphibian Monitoring Program have wrapped up for the year, there will still be amphibians active on roadways during rainy nights for the remainder of the ‘warm’ season. Continue to stay alert for animals on the road and feel free to report your sightings to the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas

Thanks to all of the AMP's volunteers and supporters for another productive year!

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