Big Night for Salamanders

In my very first blog post titled, The Big Day, I described the spring emergence of wood frogs and their race to a nearby pond to procreate.

That time of year is upon us again and wood frogs are not the only animals that migrate this way. Here in the Northeast, spotted salamanders also emerge this time of year and seek nearby water for mating. I'm wondering if salamanders use the same vernal pools as our wood frogs. I hope to set out one evening soon when the conditions are right and see if I can find some. Perhaps you'd like to do the same!

To learn more about spotted salamanders and their migration, read this wonderful book by Sarah Lamstein.
From the author's website:
“During the first warm rainy night of spring—
Big Night—spotted salamanders by the hundreds
crawl out of the woods and down to a natural
pool across the road. There they will breed and
lay their eggs.

Evan and his parents know the salamanders need
their help. Crossing a road at night is dangerous
especially for small amphibians. The family slows
the traffic. They carry salamanders across the
road. But the cars keep coming, and the hour
is late. How can the family help these delicate
creatures cross the road in safety?

Evan has the solution…”

In addition to Evan's story, the book includes lots of factual information about spotted salamanders and suggests additional resources.

For teachers and homeschoolers who'd like to use the book with students, Ms. Lamstein's website offers a classroom guide.

For those who live in eastern Massachusetts, Ms. Lamstein will be appearing at Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough, MA this Saturday (March 12th) from 1-3 pm to talk about spotted salamanders. She suggests the migration may happen this weekend if the conditions are right. Watch for rain and temperatures over 40 degrees. I've found that in my neck of the woods, the wood frog migration happens on a warm sunny day (50 degrees or higher) that follows a day or more of rain.

Have you experienced spotted salamander or wood frog migration? This may be the weekend for both. Please share any sightings.