Wow! We reached our fundraising goal! Thanks to everyone who contributed to Blue Spotted-Jefferson Salamander Kickstarter project. The next few weeks will be busy! Tomorrow morning I am meeting with a colleague to survey a site in Stockbridge, MA which is a 140 mile drive from my home in Somerville, MA. Stockbridge is a town made famous by Norman Rockwell and also by Arlo Guthrie in his song 'Alice's Restaurant Massacree'.
I'll try to keep up to date on updates from the field.
This is also my first attempt at keeping a blog so here it goes.
2013 Field notes:
On March 29, 2013 Tim Beaulieu, Don Lyman, and Ben Jaffe went out to a site in Lynnfield, just north of Boston to search for the blue spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale). We were successful in finding a few blue spotted salamanders swimming around in their preferred breeding habitat, vernal pools. Vernal pools are spring ponds that dry periodically making them absent of fish which would otherwise eat the eggs or young salamander larva.
We also found a Northern Leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) which is a somewhat uncommon frog in Massachusetts. Recently there has been work in New York and New Jersey that has found an entire new species of Leopard frog that had previously been confused with the Northern Leopard Frog. Based on this discovery, MassWildlife is interested in collecting data on Leopard frogs in Massachusetts to see if this newly discovered species exists in Massachusetts. This one that we found is a true Lithobates pipiens. Luckily the water was just above freezing and the frog barely moved making it very photogenic.