Herp Update: recent herp activity, fundraising, and our new course – December 3, 2021

Recent Amphibian Activity (last night)

Herpers, aside from the occasional reports of snakes and salamanders spending the winter in people’s cellars, current herptile reports have stopped coming in. That said, I did head out to the Morgan Road amphibian crossing here in Salisbury last night after dinner. The temperature was 39°F and the rains were just ending. The snow in the surrounding woods had been reduced to only patches, and the surface of the road was either ice or packed snow. The uphill ditches were filled with pools of water. Essentially, weather and surface conditions were very similar to those seen during the big migration nights of the spring.

I spent only 15 minutes on site and walked through the crossing area once. As expected, only Eastern Red-backed Salamanders were seen moving on the surface. I counted six of them during my visit and all but one were clearly headed uphill and out of the swamp. They all were adults. I am not sure why they would still be moving uphill this late. What would have happened to them if the ground had frozen? It suggests that many Eastern Red-backed Salamanders die as a result of not finding a good overwintering spot early enough. There is still much to learn about the natural world.

The Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Annual Fundraiser

As of this morning (Friday), the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas fundraiser has passed the halfway mark of $12,500 toward our goal of raising $25,000 for next year. If you have not donated already, please donate.

If you have donated already, thanks again.

In either case, please do forward this e-mail to anyone or any list of people who may be interested in supporting our local wildlife conservation and education efforts.

To learn more about what we have accomplished over the past year and to see the many ways you can contribute, please visit our GoFundMe site at: https://gofund.me/70b5be0e

Conserving Vermont Reptiles class

Don’t forget to check out our new course offering for this winter and next spring.

For more information or to register visit either: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/conserving-vermonts-reptiles-tickets-211892103987 or https://familyforests.org/conserving-vermonts-reptiles/

If you know anyone who might be interested in this course, please do let them know!

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