Herp Update: data gaps, Hinesburg first, PARC Amphibian week — April 19, 2022
Help us fill in some data gaps for very common species
Herpers, we have some embarrassing gaps in our database and maps. There is still one town in Vermont where no one has ever reported a Wood Frog. They are almost certainly there, but no one has ever photographed a frog or an egg-mass, or recorded their calls in Newport Town. If you live anywhere near Newport and could be convinced to either do a night time road search near a wetland in Newport on the next rainy (not snowy) night, you will almost certainly find one. Another option is to visit a vernal pool or small pond on the next nice sunny day (this Saturday), and take photos of any egg-masses you see, or record them calling.
There are two other towns where we have reports, but not photos or recordings for a voucher. These are Berkshire and Shaftsbury. Again, if you live anywhere near these towns, please consider helping us fill in these embarrassing data gaps.
The same thing is true for Spotted Salamanders. We have no records of any kind of this species from Barre City, Isle La Motte, North Hero, Searsburg, St. Albans City, Vergennes, or Winooski, and we need a photo from Westfield. It is possible that they are indeed missing from some of the cities due to lack of habitat, but unlikely they are missing from any entire townships.
If you have friends that live in or near any of these towns, and are interested in wildlife, please do forward this e-mail to them. This coming month is the easiest time to find and document these two species.
A first for Hinesburg
Tim Hoopes just reported and photographed the first ever Four-toed Salamander from Hinesburg (photo below). This species is not as widespread as Wood Frogs and Spotted Salamanders, but it is much more widespread at lower elevations than our records would suggest. Any new location for this species is an exciting find. Don’t forget to look for (and photograph) the smaller salamanders if you go out at night!
PARC’s Amphibian Week is coming up
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) has scheduled an Amphibian Week of presentations from May 1 to May 7. These are bound to be interesting and informative. Check out what they have at the link below.
You need to register for the presentations.
— Jim Andrews