Important Reminders for Salamander Season

February 12, 2018   |   Brett Amy Thelen

It’s nearly time for the spring amphibian migration! Whether you’re a veteran Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteer or a new recruit, here’s how to prepare if you want to help amphibians on Big Nights.

Dig out your reflective vest.

A Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteer enjoys Big Night. (photo © Cheryl Martin)

Don’t even think of going out on Big Night if you’re not wearing a reflective vest. Seriously. We mean it.
(photo © Cheryl Martin)

Don’t even think about going to an amphibian road crossing if you’re not wearing a reflective vest and carrying a bright light! Get your vest ready now, and put fresh batteries in your flashlight. While you’re at it, read these tips for staying safe on Big Nights.

Watch the weather.

We update the salamander forecast as often as possible, but know that temperature and precipitation are key. If it’s raining at night and temperatures are in the 40s and 50s, we could be in for a Big Night.

Know where to go.

Check out our list of known amphibian crossings in  New Hampshire for downloadable, printable directions to our tried-and-true crossing sites in the Monadnock Region, as well as an interactive map featuring many other sites that are either further afield; monitored by individuals, families, or other grassroots groups; and/or in need of additional investigation. If there’s no known amphibian crossing in your town, investigate a new spot and let us know what you find! Downloadable data forms can be found on our Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteer materials page. You can download our volunteer handbook — which includes tips for finding new crossings — there, too.

Download data forms.

We may not have Site Coordinators at all of our crossings, so be sure to bring your own pencils and notebooks or data forms with you, for keeping track of how many critters you cross.

Drive slowly.

A volunteer uses a lightbox to take photos of salamander spot patterns. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Some crossing sites will have lightboxes for taking photos of salamander spot patterns. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Drive slowly (15 mph max!) as you approach or leave any crossing site. Any faster and you will not be able to see amphibians before you are right on top of them. Better yet, walk to your nearest crossing.

Take photographs.

We’re especially interested in photos of spotted salamanders from five of our well-established crossings for inclusion in our spot pattern database. Read more here.

Send in your data.

Submit your counts and photographs to us via our online forms as soon as you get home after a migration. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to send in your data.

Wear a reflective vest.

We know we said this already, but it’s really, really important. On Big Nights, wear a reflective vest and carry a bright light — for your own safety, and for the safety of our four-legged friends. If you can’t find your reflective vest, stay home.

Contact Us

For more information, contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 525-3394 or by email.