After two false starts, last night the migration finally started! We had quite a few families and kids come out and hopefully everyone got to see a Spotted salamander and some frogs safely crossing Beekman. This was a small migration night comprised only of early male Spotted salamanders, Wood frogs and Spring peepers (they head to the vernal pools first) which is typical of the first rains with temps above 45 or so. More males and females and other species will break hibernation and head to the vernal pools on subsequent warm(ish) rainfall nights. It looks like a dry stretch for a while which is good because we really need to get some sleep. We will keep everyone apprised as the weather forecast develops. We'd also like to give a huge shout out to our amazing Administration and Police Department for their incredible support of our efforts!
For anyone interested, here is a little information about the migration and our efforts: We've been closing Beekman Road for 13 years to protect migrating Spotted salamanders and frogs as they head to the vernal pools to breed. Before we began this program it was wholesale slaughter as they tried to cross the road. This is the last population of Spotted's in town and they've become local celebrities. Our efforts have significantly increased the population of Spotted salamanders and we see more and more each year. With the incredibly warm temps and the heavy rain, last night was the first night of the migration. It often comes in waves with small movements on the first warmish rain and bigger ones on the next few rainy nights. We invite the public out to watch the migration. Our work has also allowed Wood frogs to recolonize our pools after being extirpated by cars. For the first 10 years we didn't see any but we started seeing a few 3 years ago and now we have a nice breeding population again! We have also had amazing media coverage from the NY Times, CBS 880 radio and so many more. Hopefully this coverage has raised awareness about the plight of migrating amphibians and the importance of protecting vernal pools.
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