Herp Update: Possible Upcoming Herp Activity, Annual Fundraiser – February 26, 2024

Possible Upcoming Herp Activity

Watching this Wednesday night

Herpers, my wife and I have traditionally taken our vacation in late February and returned before the first amphibian migration.  It looks like amphibians might be on the move this week while we are gone.  So, I am counting on you to watch the weather and get out to a crossing site, if conditions look good for the first spring amphibian migration while I am away.

What you are looking for is at least some snow free patches with thawed ground.  Here in the Lake Champlain Basin we certainly have that already. Secondly, you are looking for night-time temperatures above freezing, and the warmer the better.  This Wednesday night the temperatures are forecast to be in the 50’s. Lastly, but importantly, you want some rains either during the day leaving the roads wet at dark, or rains while you are out at night.

All these conditions may come together in the lowlands of mid- and southern Vermont this Wednesday or next week.  If they do, I will depend on you to tell me what you found.

Our Annual Fundraiser Continues

So far, we have received about $18,653 toward our goal of $20,000 in our annual fundraiser.  We are just $1,347 short of our goal.  If you have not contributed already, please consider it.

To learn more or to contribute, visit:



The first photo below is a classic taken by Chris Slesar of his daughter during an amphibian migration almost 20 years ago.

The second photo was taken by Kiley Briggs.  It shows a beautiful example of a pure Jefferson Salamander male.  Notice the solid gray-brown back, flattened tail with a golden ridge along the top, and long toes.  They are one of the very earliest amphibians to move in the spring.  Pure Jeffs are much larger than pure Blue-spotted Salamanders.  Pure Blue-spotteds are newt-sized.  Jeffs are almost as long as Spotted Salamanders but thinner.

A girl wearing a reflective vest holds a large black salamander with yellow spots.


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