Saturday, April 25, 2015

A sticky kinda night..

I'm a little behind on this post at this point....but that's what happens when field work gets going right!   Two Mondays ago, Mike and I went out with a friend to go experience salamander migration. Every year, these little guys travel from where they wintered to the ponds and areas where they will breed.

We drove up past Lakefield and begun our search.  If the number of frogs that we saw on the roads on our way there was any indication of the night to come....it was certainly going to be busy!  While we are out, we decided to also take some samples for Chytrid fungus.   This is a type of fungus that lives specifically in water and infects the skin of amphibians.  In recent years, it has been causing quite a stir as it has been killing a large number of frogs in many parts of the world.  Amphibians who are infected tend to have a discolouration of the skin, and thus the best way to test for this fungus is to take swabs from the belly, underarm, and mouth.

Amelia and Mike taking swabs of a Blue-spotted Salamander

Our night started with a bunch (and by a bunch I mean SO MANY) Spring Peepers.  As we drove down the road to our search spot, everything we found within the first 40 minutes were peepers.  It was a really nice treat as usually I find Spring Peepers so difficult to spot! After a while, it felt like everything we were moving off the road was a peeper!


Halfway through the road we finally came across some other critters!   These included wood frogs, leopard frogs and also seeing my very first Blue and Yellow-spotted Salamanders!! 

Wood Frog

(left) Blue-spotted Salamander; (right) Yellow-spotted Salamander crossing the road
 I was so awesome to finally be also to see these Salamanders, I'd been wanting to for so long!!!   Such a treat.  I really loved how vibrant the yellow spots were too!  One thing I really didn't call for was how sticky they were!  Especially the Blue-spotted, I think it took almost a full day to really wash it all off.  Here's a few more shots of my favourite!!



Coming in a close second from the night is an awesome Wood Frog that I found! It was absolutely stunning and incredibly red. I had never seen something like it before!!


Hope everyone is having an amazing start to "spring" minus the recent snowfall.

Happy Naturing!