Salamander Migration Monitoring
In order to monitor the growth of the amphibian population at the ES, I collect a population sample every two weeks. At night around 9:00 pm, I set 25 plastic bottle traps around the edge of the vernal pool and check the traps 12 hours later. After recording the temperature and humidity and noting any significant weather conditions, I measure the length in mm and count the toes of each salamander. During my time at the pool, I also pay close attention to what wildlife I observe and hear. After gathering my data, I enter it into an excel sheet and interpret it in a field journal along with my observations of the day. In between each collection period, I am researching my questions relating to salamanders or surrounding wildlife.
Currently, the salamanders should be morphing into their land forms and migrating out of the pool, however they seem to be developing and migrating late because of high water levels. I have recently been looking under logs and rocks for salamanders in case they have migrated, but this week I read that juveniles of the pond salamanders I am looking at will mostly burrow underground instead of being found on the forest floor. I speculate that because of this, if I want to try to find the newly migrated salamanders (if they are there), I will have to wait until a period of heavy rain for them to come to the surface.