Herpers, the flood gates opened around 8:15 PM at Morgan Road last night and seven species of amphibian poured through with over 2,500 counted in the two hours we were on site. Many amphibians went uncounted even with 37 volunteers helping out. At my greeting and education post, I had a steady flow of amphibians moving out from under the parked cars, through my legs, and around my feet. It was difficult to move for fear of stepping on an amphibian. Still, we gathered some useful data, but these numbers should all be viewed as minimums for the time we were there. Both WPTZ (Channel 5, NBC) and the Addison Independent were there, so look for some upcoming coverage.

Morgan Road is known for its large population of Blue-spotted Salamanders and they move earlier than most other spring migrating amphibians. In the two hours that we were there (8:15 to 10:15) we tallied 1,248 of them. For the first migration night of the spring, there were far more Spotted Salamanders (665) than usual and Spotteds (and others) were crossing in some areas at the margins where they had not been seen previously. Wood Frogs numbers (399) were still increasing as we were leaving and while driving out it was difficult avoiding them. Four-toed Salamanders (114), Eastern Red-backed Salamanders (78), and Spring Peepers (71) were seen in closer to average numbers.

Totals

Blue-spotted Salamander: 1240 alive, 8 dead
Spotted Salamander: 659 alive, 6 dead
Wood Frog: 371 alive, 28 dead
Four-toed: 113 alive, 1 dead Eastern
Red-backed Salamander: 78 alive (many lead phase)
Spring Peeper: 71 Alive
Eastern Newt: 1 Alive

Combined Total: 2526 amphibians (43 of these were dead)

Two cars came through while we were there and and a couple passed through just before we arrived. The temperature was 7 C (~45 F).

Reports have also come in from North Street, New Haven (Peg and Marc Faucher), Monkton Road (Chris Slesar & Steve Parren), Royalton, Sunderland (Rosalie Oceana-Kolb), Barnet (Kiley Briggs), Milton (Larry Clarfeld), Grand Isle (David Hoag), Orwell, Benson, and West Haven (Jim Andrews & Kate Kelly). Numbers at many of these other locations had move modest activity or picked up later in the evening. There is much migration yet to come. I don’t see great migration conditions in the forecast, but there is some rain currently predicted for next Tuesday.

James Andrews
http://VtHerpAtlas.org

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