Field Reports from the 2016 Amphibian Migration

At a Glance: Salamander Season 2016

2016 was a record year in more ways than one: our Salamander Crossing Brigades helped a jaw-dropping 6,157 amphibians along on their journeys at 40 different crossing sites − more than ever before. On March 10, we also experienced our earliest recorded migration in ten years of keeping track!

May 15, 2017
A bucket of spotted salamanders, rescued from Route 9 in Antrim on April 11, 2016. (photo © Nathan Schaefer)

A bucket of spotted salamanders, rescued from Route 9 in Antrim on April 11, 2016. Visit our Flickr feed for more photos from the 2016 Crossing Brigades.
(photo © Nathan Schaefer)

Final Tallies for 2016

Drum roll, please: in 2016, our Salamander Crossing Brigades helped a jaw-dropping  6,157 amphibians (including 695 spotted salamanders, more than 1,300 wood frogs, and over 3,800 spring peepers) along on their journeys at 40 different crossing sites − a record year! Even more astounding: since 2007, hundreds of salamander citizen scientists throughout the Monadnock Region have helped nearly 31,000 amphibians survive the most dangerous journey of their lives.

In addition, we identified five individual spotted salamanders who were moved across North Lincoln Street in Keene by our volunteers in both 2016 and at least one prior year, as verified by photographs of their unique spot patterns. Two salamanders were crossed by us in 2016, 2015, and 2014. The exact same salamanders, all three years! We also initiated and/or expanded spot pattern databases for ten additional crossing sites this spring, so hopefully we’ll have more exciting news on the spotted salamander front in the years to come.

Visit our Flickr feed for photos from this season’s Crossing Brigades, and read on for site-by-site details from each crossing, which are listed in alphabetical order by town.

Alstead

Route 12A. A stalwart solo Brigadier successfully crossed 26 spotted salamanders.

A Jefferson salamander, helped across Route 9 in Antrim on April 1, 2016. (photo © Nathan Schaefer)

A Jefferson salamander, helped across Route 9 in Antrim on April 1, 2016. (photo © Nathan Schaefer)

Antrim

Route 9. Two extremely courageous volunteers moved 101 live amphibians (+ 112 dead), including 51 spotted salamanders (+ 35 dead), 1 Jefferson salamander, 28 newts (+ 28 dead), 6 wood frogs (+ 6 dead), 14 peepers (+ 42 dead), and 1 bullfrog, as well as 1 dead green frog.

Chesterfield

Route 63. 30 animals were moved across Route 63, including 28 spotted salamanders (+ 3 dead) and 2 wood frogs (+ 1 dead).

Concord

Snow Pond Road. The Concord contingent crossed 2 wood frogs and 2 spring peepers (and found 1 dead peeper and 1 dead toad) at Snow Pond Road.

Deerfield

Birch Street. A dynamic duo crossed 8 wood frogs (+ 37 dead) and 1 spring peeper (+ 15 dead), and noted 1 dead spotted salamander, for a total of 9 live critters (and, sadly, 53 dead).

The Deering contingent, ready for a night of salamander saving! (photo © Amy Cate)

The Deering contingent, ready for a night of salamander saving! (photo © Amy Cate)

Deering

Route 149. A mother-son team helped 26 animals make it safely across the road, and counted another 22 dead. This number includes 7 spotted salamanders (+ 8 dead), 15 peepers (+ 10 dead), 2 green frogs (+ 4 dead), and 2 bullfrogs.

Derry

Warren Hill Road. Far afield but close in spirit, a terrific team of two crossed 3 spotties, 1 redbacked salamander, 14 wood frogs (+ 24 dead), 50 peepers (+ 59 dead), and 2 toads (+ 2 dead), for a total of 70 live amphibians (+ 85 dead).

Goshen

Route 31. A power couple crossed 29 spotted salamanders (+ 4 dead), 8 newts (+ 10 dead), 10 peepers (+ 1 dead), and 4 wood frogs, for a total of 53 live amphibians (+ 15 dead).

Arguably the world’s cutest Crossing Brigadier. (photo © Julie Tilden Brown)

Arguably the world’s cutest Crossing Brigadier.
(photo © Julie Tilden Brown)

Hancock

Antrim Road. The world’s cutest Crossing Brigadier and her parents crossed 6 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead) and 4 peepers, 10 live amphibians in all.

Middle Hancock Road. A jolly crew came to the rescue of 44 live amphibians (+ noted 11 dead), including 15 spotted salamanders (+ 6 dead), 4 redbacked salamanders, 14 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), 10 peepers (+ 1 dead), and 1 bullfrog, along with 2 dead newts.

Old Dublin Road. A dynamo crossed 4 spotted salamanders, 4 wood frogs, and 1 eastern newt, 9 animals in all.

Route 123. A dedicated family of Crossing Brigadiers crossed 93 live amphibians (+ noted 66 dead), including 34 spotted salamanders (+ 19 dead), 48 spring peepers (+ 15 dead), 5 wood frogs (+ 26 dead), 2 newts (+ 6 dead), 2 toads, and 2 unidentified frogs.

Harrisville

Breed Road. One spotted salamander was crossed on Breed Road, in the vicinity of Child’s Bog.

Chesham Road. Crossing Brigadiers moved 21 spotted salamanders (+ 14 dead) and 2 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), for a total of 23 live amphibians (+ 16 dead).

Nelson Road. Volunteers crossed 5 spotties (+ 1 dead), 2 peepers, and 1 green frog, 8 live amphibians in all.

Jaffrey

Lacy Road. One lucky spotted salamander got a helping hand.

A spotted salamander smiles from atop a data form. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

Data never looked so good. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

Keene

Eastern Avenue. A small, but dedicated crew crossed 419 wood frogs (+ counted 342 dead), 196 peepers (+ 36 dead), and 1 pioneering spotted salamander, for a total of 616 live amphibians (+ 378 dead). This site could use more early-season help next year!

East Surry Road. A mother-daughter team crossed 5 spotted sallies (+ 5 dead) and 1 bullfrog, 6 live amphibians in all.

Jordan Road. A dedicated team crossed 236 amphibians in 2016, including 38 spotted salamanders, 49 Jefferson salamanders (+ 2 dead), 13 redbacked salamanders (+ 5 dead), 76 wood frogs (+ 27 dead), and 60 spring peepers (+ 12 dead).

A spotted salamander on a background of graph paper. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Remarkably, 5 of the 12 spotted salamanders (42%) crossed at North Lincoln Street in 2016 had also been moved across the road by our volunteers in at least one prior year, as verified by their one-of-a-kind spot patterns. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

North Lincoln Street. The North Lincoln Street crew crossed 1,754 peepers (+ 474 dead), 351 wood frogs (+ 56 dead), 12 spotted salamanders (+ 3 dead), and 2 toads, for an impressive total of 2,121 (!!!) live amphibians (+ 533 dead).

Route 10, near the Keene-Gilsum line. A small, but mighty team crossed 20 spotted salamanders (+ 8 dead), 22 newts (+ 24 dead), 83 peepers (+ 48 dead), 11 wood frogs (+ 12 dead), 3 pickerel frogs, and 1 bullfrog (+ 25 unidentified dead frogs), for a total of 140 live amphibians (+ 117 dead).

Nelson

Nelson Road. 210 animals were moved to safety (+ 70 dead were counted), including 22 spotted salamanders (+ 10 dead), 2 redbacked salamanders, 10 newts (+ 5 dead), 26 wood frogs (+ 10 dead), 143 peepers (+ 45 dead), 4 green frogs, 21 bullfrogs, and 2 toads.

Newport

Oak Street. A multi-generational team of Crossing Brigadiers moved 33 animals out of harm’s way, including 8 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 24 peepers (+ 25 dead), and 1 unidentified salamander.

Signs of a successful crossing: spotted salamander (left) and Jefferson salamander (right) eggs in a roadside vernal pool. (photo © Nathan Schaefer)

Signs of a successful crossing: spotted salamander (left) and Jefferson salamander (right) eggs in a roadside vernal pool. (photo © Nathan Schaefer)

Peterborough

Summer Street. A dedicated crew moved 62 spotted salamanders (+ 11 dead), 166 spring peepers (+ 43 dead), 144 wood frogs (+ 71 dead), 5 newts (+ 3 dead), 3 four-toed salamanders, 1 pickerel frog, 2 green frogs, and 1 bullfrog, 384 live amphibians (+ 128 dead) in all.

Rindge

Cutter Hill Road. One lucky peeper was given a helping hand across Cutter Hill Road, where 3 dead wood frogs were also counted.

North Road. Brigadiers crossed 1 spotted sally, 5 peepers (+ 4 dead), 1 wood frog, and 1 green frog, for a total of 8 live amphibians.

Old New Ipswich Road. 38 amphibians were helped across Old New Ipswich Road, including 1 spotted salamander (+ 2 dead), 1 newt, 18 wood frogs (+ 13 dead), and 18 peepers (+ 13 dead).

Perry Road. The Rindge Rangers crossed 5 peepers (+ 11 dead), 1 wood frog (+ 5 dead), and 1 toad, and noted 6 dead newts, 7 live amphibians (+ 22 dead) in all.

School Street. Three critters were crossed, including 1 spotted salamander, and 2 peepers, along with 1 dead wood frog.

The underside of a spring peeper, as photographed through a glass window. (photo © Donna Roscoe)

A unique look at a spring peeper. Check out those suction cup toes! (photo © Donna Roscoe)

Springfield, VT

Route 5. A tried-and-true family of Salamander Crossing Brigadiers moved 64 amphibians, including 13 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 9 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), and 42 peepers (+ 8 dead).

Swanzey

Eaton Road. Three spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead) were crossed at Eaton Road.

Homestead Avenue. Five spotted salamanders were moved across Homestead Avenue.

Matthews Road. 493 animals were moved out of harm’s way (+ 231 dead were noted) in 2016, including: 60 spotted salamanders (+ 22 dead), 361 peepers (+ 164 dead), 18 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), 17 toads (+ 2 dead), 4 redbacked salamanders, 1 newt, 6 pickerel frogs (+ 2 dead), 1 bullfrog, and 25 unidentified frogs (+ 37 unidentified dead). This site could use more help in 2017!

Swanzey Lake Road. A small, but enthusiastic crew crossed 18 spotted salamanders (+ 8 dead), 1 four-toed salamander (+ 7 dead), 1 redbacked salamander (+ 1 dead), 7 spring peepers (+ 14 dead), plus 1 dead eastern newt and 1 unidentified dead frog, 27 live amphibians (+ 32 dead) in all.

A wood frog crosses the road. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Wood frog, on his way. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Troy

Route 124, near Perkins Pond. Volunteers crossed 10 spotties (+ 3 dead), 11 wood frogs (+ 6 dead), 9 peepers (+ 3 dead), 1 green frog, and 5 toads, for a total of 36 live amphibians (+ 12 dead).

South Street. Crossing Brigadiers moved 4 wood frogs and 3 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), 7 live amphibians in all.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. Volunteers crossed a grand total of 999 amphibians (!!!)(and noted 461 dead), including 152 spotted salamanders (+ 18 dead), 710 peepers (+ 387 dead), 85 wood frogs (+ 9 dead), 35 newts (+ 46 dead), 8 redbacked salamanders, 4 pickerel frogs (+1 dead), 2 green frogs, and 3 toads.

River Road. 34 animals were helped to safety, including 21 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 11 wood frogs, 1 pickerel frog, and 1 toad.

A Crossing Brigade volunteer holds a spotted salamander. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Heroism in action. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Wilton

Dale Street. Volunteers crossed 1 spotted salamander and 1 toad, and noted 2 dead frogs (species unknown).

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. The Picadilly Farm crew crossed 10 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 35 four-toed salamanders (!!!)(+ 4 dead), 69 spring peepers (+ 32 dead), 62 wood frogs (+ 45 dead), and 1 bullfrog, and noted 1 dead newt, for a total of 177 live amphibians (+ 87 dead).

Three cheers for the Salamander Crossing Brigades! We can’t wait to do it all over again in 2017.

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May 10, 2016

First Week of May

A spotted salamander crosses the road. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Remarkably, the spring amphibian migration continued into the first week of May. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Last week’s evening rains provided a boost for spring amphibians, many of whom were waiting for rain in order to make their moves away from their breeding pools. A few hardy Crossing Brigade volunteers made it out for this late-season migration, helping 283 frogs and salamanders to safety, and bringing our season total to more than 6,150 amphibians since March 10! Read on for site-by-site details.

Antrim

Route 9. One extremely courageous Crossing Brigadier moved 8 spotted salamanders (+ 6 dead), 1 wood frog, and 6 peepers (+ 17 dead), and counted 8 dead eastern newts, on May 4.

Keene

North Lincoln Street. Three volunteers crossed 40 spring peepers, 1 wood frog, and 1 spotted salamander on three different nights (May 2, 4, and 6). The vast majority of these critters were heading away from the wetland, their breeding done for the year.

A Crossing Brigadier holds a spotted salamander. (photo © Jess Baum)

A magical find on a misty May 6! (photo © Jess Baum)

Hancock

Route 123. Three volunteers moved 62 live amphibians over two nights (May 2 and 6), including: 22 spotted salamanders (+ 10 dead), 31 peepers (+ 3 dead), 4 wood frogs (+ 19 dead), 1 eastern newt (+ 6 dead), 2 toads, and 2 unidentified frogs.

Harrisville

Breed Road. One spotted salamander also got a helping hand across Breed Road, near Child’s Bog, on May 4.

Nelson Road. That same volunteer moved 4 spotties (+ 1 dead), 2 spring peepers, and 1 green frog across Nelson Road.

Nelson

Nelson Road. One late-night volunteer crossed 3 spotted salamanders and 1 peeper (+ 2 dead) on May 4.

Peterborough

Summer Street. One dedicated volunteer crossed 15 spring peepers (+ 7 dead) on May 4. On her way home, she also crossed 14 spotted salamanders (+4 dead) and 4 redbacked salamanders, and noted 2 dead newts and 1 dead wood frog, at multiple crossing sites in Peterborough and Hancock.

A juvenile wood frog gets a helping hand on May 4. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A juvenile wood frog gets a helping hand on May 4. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Swanzey

Matthews Road. One dedicated volunteer spent two nights (May 4 and 6) helping 105 animals cross the much-trafficked road. He moved 3 spotted salamanders (+ 6 dead), 2 redbacked salamanders, 8 wood frogs ( +1 dead), 62 peepers (+ 75 dead), 4 pickerel frogs (+ 2 dead), 2 toads (+ 1 dead), and 24 unidentified frogs (+ 36 dead). He also crossed 3 slugs and 2 snails.

Swanzey Lake Road. A dynamic duo crossed 7 spotted salamanders over two nights (May 2 and 4) and counted the following casualties: 2 spotties, 1 eastern newt, 1 four-toed salamander, 1 spring peeper, and 1 large toad or frog. They also patrolled Homestead Avenue and Eaton Road on May 4 and aided 7 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead) on those two roads.

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April 11, 2016

A Postscript

Matching spot patterns from the same salamander, encountered three different years.

To see the matching spot patterns with your own eyes, visit us on Flickr for larger versions of this and other photos of uniquely identified spotted salamanders from our Crossing Brigade program.

COOL NEWS: after examining photographs of the spotted salamanders who were moved across Monadnock Region roads by Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteers on April 7 and 11, we were able to identify one individual who was moved across North Lincoln Street in Keene in both 2015 and 2016, and another who was moved across North Lincoln Street in 2014, 2015, and 2016! Same salamander, all three years, as verified by its one-of-a-kind spot pattern!

 

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April 11, 2016

Keene Migration Winding Down

A spotted salamander crawls across a data form. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

The cutest data form you’ve ever seen.
(photo © Kevin Pearson)

Our Keene crossings seem to be winding down for the year, but salamanders were out and about in several other towns on April 11. Crossing Brigade volunteers collectively helped 353 frogs and salamanders across roads throughout the Monadnock Region (and beyond!) on Monday night, bringing our season total up to 5,789 amphibians since March 10. Read on for details from the crossing site nearest you.

Concord

Snow Pond Road. A couple went out for their first amphibian migration and crossed 4 frogs: 2 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), 2 wood frogs, and 1 dead toad.

Goshen

Route 31, near the Goshen-Washington line. A solo Brigadier at crossed 14 amphibians: 10 spotties, 3 peepers, and 1 wood frog. He also noted 5 dead newts. Almost half of the salamanders were headed away from the water, their breeding done for 2016.

A Salamander Brigade volunteer smiles as she holds a spotted salamander. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Further proof that salamanders make people smile. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Harrisville

Chesham Road. One volunteer crossed 8 amphibians, including 7 spotted salamanders and 1 wood frog, on her way home, and noted many more dead. She also moved 1 spotted salamander across Nelson Road.

Hancock

Route 123. An enthusiastic mother-daughter team crossed 11 live spotted salamanders (+ 8 dead), 1 newt, 17 live peepers (+ 12 dead), and 1 live wood frog (+ 7 dead), 30 live amphibians in all.

Keene

Eastern Avenue. Three volunteers moved 22 live animals: 19 spring peepers (+ at least 27 dead) and 3 wood frogs. Most of the frogs were headed away from the wetland, their breeding over.

Jordan Road. One dedicated Brigadier crossed 6 live frogs, including 5 peepers (+ 1 dead) and 1 wood frog, before heading to Eastern Ave in hopes of finding more amphibians.

North Lincoln Street was relatively quiet, but 3 enthusiastic volunteers did cross 2 spotted salamanders, 84 live spring peepers (+ 24 dead), and 2 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), for a total of 88 live amphibians. Notably, more half of the peepers and all of the wood frogs were heading back into the woods, their breeding done for the year.

Peterborough

Summer Street. Brigadiers crossed 80 amphibians, including 11 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 1 newt (+ 1 dead), 54 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), and 14 wood frogs (+ 4 dead).

Rindge

North Road. One volunteer moved 3 frogs to safety: 2 spring peepers (+ 2 dead), and 1 wood frog.

A spotted salamander peeks out from beneath a leaf. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

A spotted salamander plays peek-a-boo near Matthews Road in Swanzey. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

Swanzey

Matthews Road. One dedicated volunteer helped 40 amphibians across the road, amidst a lot of traffic: 9 live spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 30 peepers (+ several dead), and 1 toad (+ 1 dead). This site could use more help on Big Nights, but it is not family-friendly, as traffic is heavy and moves very fast here.

Swanzey Lake Road. One volunteer crossed 7 live amphibians: 5 spotties (+ 2 dead), 1 redbacked salamander (+ 1 dead), and 1 spring peeper (+ 3 dead). He also found 6 dead four-toed salamanders.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. One hearty soul crossed 50 amphibians − including 11 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 38 spring peepers (+ 22 dead), 1 live toad, and 1 dead newt − in only half an hour!

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April 7, 2016

A Surprisingly Slow Night

A spotted salamander makes its way across North Lincoln Street in Keene. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A spotted salamander makes its way across North Lincoln Street in Keene. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Conditions were nearly perfect for salamanders on the evening of April 7, but there were fewer amphibians afoot than expected, and some of them were heading away from their breeding wetlands. Could this be a sign that salamander season is winding down for the year?

Even so, our Crossing Brigade volunteers collectively helped 876 frogs and salamanders across roads throughout the Monadnock Region (and beyond!) on Thursday night, bringing our season total up to 5,436 amphibians since March 10. Read on for details from the crossing site nearest you.

Alstead

Route 12A. One stalwart volunteer helped 26 spotted salamanders survive to breed another year.

Goshen

Route 31 near the Goshen-Washington line. A dynamic duo atcrossed 39 amphibians: 19 spotties (+ 4 dead), 8 newts (+ 5 dead), 7 peepers (+ 1 dead), 3 wood frogs, and another two unidentified frogs.

Harrisville

Chesham Road. Two dashing volunteers, each on their way home, moved a total of 15 live animals: 14 spotted salamanders (+ 12 dead) and 1 wood frog (+ 2 dead).

A young Crossing Brigadier helps her very first spotted salamander across Antrim Road in Hancock on April 7. (photo © Julie Tilden Brown)

The Cutest Crossing Brigadier in the World helps her very first spotted salamander across Antrim Road in Hancock on April 7. (photo © Julie Tilden Brown)

Hancock

Antrim Road. A family of four crossed 10 amphibians: 6 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead) and 4 peepers!

Middle Hancock Road. A jolly team crossed 26 live animals: 1 spotted salamander (+ 2 dead), 10 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), 14 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), and 1 bullfrog. On their way home, they also moved 4 spotties, 1 newt, and 4 wood frogs across Old Dublin Road.

Route 123, near the intersection with Willard Pond Road. One Crossing Brigadier moved 1 spotted salamander across the road, and noted 1 dead, on her way home from another crossing.

Keene

Eastern Avenue. Five volunteers moved 71 live animals: 21 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), 49 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), and − for the first time ever at this site− 1 spotted salamander!

East Surry Road. A mother-daughter team crossed 2 spotted salamanders (+ noted 3 dead).

Jordan Road. A lively team crossed 8 spotted salamanders, 8 redbacked salamanders (+ 4 dead), 8 peepers (+ 3 dead), and 3 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), for a total of 27 live amphibians.

A person uses their cell phone to take a photograph of a spotted salamander's spot pattern. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

The salamander paparazzi records photographs of salamander spot patterns. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

North Lincoln Street was hopping once again, as 20 Crossing Brigadiers moved 4 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, 180 live spring peepers (+ 48 dead), 15 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), and 1 hefty American toad across the road, for a total of 201 live amphibians. Notably, more than half of the wood frogs were heading back into the woods, their breeding done for the year.

Route 10, near the Keene-Gilsum line. A dynamic duo moved 39 live ones: 3 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 35 peepers (+ 45 dead), and 1 wood frog. They also counted 25 unidentified dead.

Nelson

Nelson Road. One volunteer moved 2 spotted salamanders, 25 peepers (+ 4 dead), 4 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), and 1 green frog, for a total of 32 live amphibians.

Newport

Oak Street. A mother-daughter team crossed 33 amphibians, “with great appreciation for them all,” including: 8 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 24 peepers (+ 25 dead), and 1 unidentified salamander.

Peterborough

Summer Street was bustling, as 18 Crossing Brigadiers moved 75 amphibians, including 19 spotted salamanders (+ 4 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 1 newt (+ 1 dead), 41 spring peepers (+ at least 10 dead), and 13 wood frogs (+ 4 dead).

Rindge

Old New Ipswich Road. Two Brigadiers moved 1 spotted salamander, 3 spring peepers (+ 3 dead), 1 wood frog, and 2 earthworms across the road, 7 amphibians in all.

At North Road in Rindge, 3 volunteers moved 5 animals to safety, including 1 spotted salamander, 3 spring peepers (+ 2 dead), and 1 green frog.

This spotted salamander had four hind feet! (photo © Liz Masure)

This spotted salamander had four hind feet!
(photo © Liz Masure)

Springfield, VT

Route 5. A fantastic family moved 64 animals out of harm’s way: 13 spotted salamanders (+ 8 dead), 42 peepers (+ 59 dead), and 9 wood frogs (+ 4 dead). One of the salamanders they moved had two extra feet!

Swanzey

Eaton Road. On his way home from the Matthews Road crossing, one Crossing Brigadier also moved a hefty spotted salamander across Eaton Road.

Matthews Road. Four volunteers helped 118 amphibians across the road, amidst alot of traffic: 27 spotted salamanders (+ at least 4 dead), 1 newt, 82 peepers (+ at least 24 dead), 2 wood frogs, and 4 toads. This site could use more help on Big Nights, but it is not family-friendly, as traffic is heavy and moves very fast here.

Swanzey Lake Road. Four volunteers moved 13 live amphibians: 6 spotties (+ 4 dead), 1 four-toed-no-tailed salamander, and 6 spring peepers (+ 11 dead). They also found a large, bronze bug, dragging an earthworm carcass behind it!

A spotted salamander, held by a Crossing Brigadier. (photo © Sarah Wilson)

A handsome salamander, indeed.
(photo © Sarah Wilson)

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. One hearty volunteer crossed 23 amphibians − including 12 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead) and 11 spring peepers (+ 8 dead) − in only 20 minutes! Some of the salamanders at this site were moving away from the wetland, their breeding done for the year.

One Crossing Brigadier made the rounds, crossing 28 spotties (+ 3 dead) and 2 wood frogs (+ 1 dead) at Route 63 (in Spofford), another 5 spotties at Partridge Brook Road, and 3 spotties and 1 wood frog on River Road, 39 live amphibians in all.

Wilton

Dale Street. A team of two crossed 1 spottie and 1 toad, and noted 2 dead frogs (species unknown).

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April 1, 2016

An Exciting Update

Two photos of the same salamander, taken two years apart.

To see the matching spot patterns with your own eyes, visit us on Flickr for larger versions of this and other photos of uniquely identified spotted salamanders from our Crossing Brigade program.

After examining photographs of the six spotted salamanders who were moved across North Lincoln Street in Keene by our Crossing Brigade volunteers on April 1, we were able to identify one individual who was moved across the road at that site in both 2014 and 2016.

Same salamander, two different nights, two years apart, as verified by its one-of-a-kind spot pattern!

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April 1, 2016

A Big Night, and That’s No Joke!

A young Crossing Brigadier gazes at a spotted salamander. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Salamander magic at North Lincoln Street in Keene. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Salamanders were afoot throughout the Granite State on Friday, April 1 − and we’re not fooling! Our Crossing Brigade volunteers collectively helped 1,212 frogs and salamanders avoid the crush of the tire on Friday night, bringing our season total up to 4,558 amphibians since March 10. Read on for details from the crossing site nearest you.

Deering

Route 149. A mother-son teamcrossed 26 amphibians: 7 spotties (+ 8 dead), 15 peepers (+ 10 dead), 2 green frogs (+ 4 dead), and 2 bullfrogs.

Derry

A bit far afield, but we’re happy to report that a dynamic duo at Warren Hill Road moved 70 animals out of the way of 83 cars in two hours! Among the lucky were: 3 spotted salamanders, 1 redbacked salamander, 50 spring peepers (+ 59 dead), 14 wood frogs (+ 24 dead), and 2 toads (+ 2 dead). The Brigadiers reported, “We got completely soaked but enjoyed every minute of it.”

Jaffrey

One lucky spotted salamander got a helping hand across Lacy Road.

A spotted salamander sits in a lightbox, waiting to be photographed. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

The North Lincoln Street crew got to put their fancy new lightbox to the test, while taking photographs of salamander spot patterns. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Keene

East Surry Road. A mother-daughter team crossed 3 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 1 bullfrog, and 1 salamander-shaped banana peel on their way home from the North Lincoln Street crossing.

Jordan Road. One dedicated Brigadier and her family crossed 27 spotted salamanders, 5 redbacked salamanders (+ 1 dead), 17 peepers (+ 3 dead), and 22 wood frogs (+ 3 dead), for a total of 71 live amphibians. She then crossed another 3 wood frogs at Eastern Avenue on her way home.

North Lincoln Street was bustling, as 8 Crossing Brigadiers moved 6 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 163 live spring peepers (+ 52 dead), 8 wood frogs (+ 1 dead) and 1 hefty American toad across the road, for a total of 178 live amphibians.

Route 10, near the Keene-Gilsum line. A team of three moved 17 spotted salamanders (+ 6 dead), 22 Eastern newts (+ at least 24 dead), 30 peepers (a conservative estimate), 4 wood frogs (+ 10 dead), 3 pickerel frogs, and 1 bullfrog, 77 live amphibians in all. There were also many unidentified dead.

A toad on the road. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Toads made their first appearance at many crossing sites on April 1. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Nelson

Nelson Road. Volunteers moved 17 spotted salamanders (+ at least 10 dead), 8 Eastern newts (+ 5 dead), 2 redbacked salamanders, 107 spring peepers (+ 29 dead), 15 wood frogs (+ 6 dead), 2 green frogs, 2 American toads, and 1 bullfrog, for a total of 154 live amphibians.

Peterborough

Summer Street was busy, as a team of three Crossing Brigadiers crossed 32 spotted salamanders (+ 4 dead), 2 four-toed salamanders (!), 2 Eastern newts (+ 1 dead), 8 spring peepers, 23 wood frogs (+ 20 dead), 1 pickerel frog, 1 green frog, and 1 bullfrog, 70 live amphibians in all.

Rindge

Two Brigadiers patrolled multiple roads and crossed 17 live amphibians: 1 spotted salamander (+ 2 dead), 11 spring peepers (+ 11 dead), 4 wood frogs (+ 14 dead), 1 toad, and, sadly, 6 dead Eastern newts.

Swanzey

Matthews Road. Four volunteers helped 191 amphibians across the road, amidst a lot of traffic: 20 spotties, 1 redbacked salamander, 157 peepers, 2 wood frogs, 10 toads, and 1 bullfrog. Unfortunately, the casualties were too numerous to count.

A well-camouflaged spotted salamander crosses the road. (photo © John Baz-Dresch)

A well-camouflaged spottie! (photo © John Baz-Dresch)

Troy

Route 124 near Perkins Pond. A dynamic duo crossed 10 spotties (+ 3 dead), 9 peepers (+ 3 dead), 11 wood frogs (+ 6 dead), 1 green frog, and 5 toads, for a total of 36 live amphibians. They had a rocking good time taboot: “You were spot on, once we helped one we were hooked. It was amazing, and the chorus of frogs was deafening! We almost needed ear plugs it was so loud.”

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. Two hearty volunteers crossed 83 spotted salamanders (+ 9 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, 12 Eastern newts (+ 18 dead), 186 spring peepers (+ 156 dead), 3 pickerel frogs, 2 green frogs, 2 toads, and 6 really long earthworms, for a total of 289 amphibians.

At River and Partridge Brook Roads, a dynamic duo crossed 13 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 10 wood frogs, 1 pickerel frog, and 1 toad, 25 amphibians in all.

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March 28, 2016

A Small Night

Wood frogs continue their March march in the Monadnock Region on March 28.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

March 28 was a “Small Night” — cold and, in the early part of the evening, dry — but a few cold-hardy wood frogs made their move nonetheless, bringing our season total of 3,338 amphibians, with more migration yet to come!

Keene

One Crossing Brigadier at North Lincoln Street crossed 7 wood frogs and 1 spring peeper (+ 1 dead) in the span of one hour, then moved on to Eastern Avenue, where she moved 3 more wood frogs (and noted 3 dead).

Swanzey

Another solo volunteer at Matthews Road in Swanzey moved 1 wood frog across the street, and was happy to report that “the little wood frog had a close call, but he is healthy and should now be singing in the pond with the others.”

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March 16, 2016

The Migration Continues

A wood frog pauses on North Lincoln Street in Keene on March 16. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A wood frog pauses on North Lincoln Street in Keene on March 16. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

The rain was intermittent, but it was enough to spur more frogs, and a few salamanders, to action. Our Crossing Brigadiers moved 1,076 amphibians across roads in eight towns on Wednesday, which − when paired with updated counts from last week’s Big Night − brings us to an impressive season total of 3,326 amphibians, with more migration yet to come! Read on for details from the crossing site nearest you.

Keene

Eastern Avenue. One volunteer crossed 5 wood frogs (and noted 20 dead) on her way home from the crossing at Jordan Road.

Jordan Road. A small, but dedicated crew crossed 13 Jefferson salamanders, 2 spotted salamanders, 3 peepers, and 14 wood frogs, for a total of 32 live amphibians.

North Lincoln Street was hopping once again, as a small crew of dedicated Crossing Brigadiers moved 381 live spring peepers (+ at least 58 dead) and 151 wood frogs (+ 21 dead) across the road, for a total of 532 live frogs.

Spotted salamanders are just starting to emerge. This one is only minutes above ground, with the mud of 2015 still caked on its body as it heads to its breeding pond. (photo © Dave Huth)

Nelson

The Nelson Road crossing was relatively quiet once again: in just over an hour, a team of two moved 1 Eastern newt, 6 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), and 5 wood frogs, for a total of 12 live amphibians. Later on in the evening, another volunteer passed by, and moved a single, beautiful spotted salamander across the road near this site.

Peterborough

Summer Street. A heroic solo Brigadier crossed 1 Eastern newt, 14 spring peepers (+ 5 dead), 39 wood frogs (+ 11 dead), and 1 green frog, 55 live amphibians in all.

Rindge

Three volunteers patrolled multiple roads, moving 1 Eastern newt, 12 spring peepers (+ 10 dead), and 14 wood frogs (+ 8 dead), 27 live amphibians in all.

A spring peeper held by a Crossing Brigade volunteer. (photo © Jess Baum)

A peeper gets a helping hand on March 16.
(photo © Jess Baum)

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. Two hearty Brigadiers crossed 35 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 11 Eastern newts (+ 11 dead), 215 spring peepers (+ 161 dead), 23 wood frogs (+ 7 dead), and 1 pickerel frog (+ 1 dead), for a total of 285 live critters.

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. A crew of 12 crossed 8 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 30 four-toed salamanders (!!!!!)(+ 2 dead), 50 spring peepers (+ 22 dead), 39 wood frogs (+ 31 dead), and 1 bullfrog, for a total of 128 live critters.

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March 10, 2016

Earliest Migration on Record!

A wood frog pauses on Big Night. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

March 10 was a Big Night for frogs, especially in Keene. (photo © Kevin Pearson)

Frogs came out in big numbers on March 10 − the earliest amphibian migration in Crossing Brigade history, by two full weeks − but our Salamander Crossing Brigades were ready! All told, 60 Crossing Brigade volunteers helped a whopping 2,250 amphibians get where they were going on the first migration night of the season. If you missed it, do not fret! There is certainly more migration to come, possibly as soon as tomorrow. Visit our Flickr feed for photos from the Big Night, and read on for details from the crossing nearest you.

Deerfield

A dynamic duo at Birch Road crossed 8 wood frogs (and noted 37 dead) and 1 spring peeper (+ 15 dead), and found 1 dead spotted salamander.

A Crossing Brigadier poses with two wood frogs. (photo © Jess Baum)

Big Night is Big Fun. (photo © Jess Baum)

Keene

Eastern Avenue. A small, but dedicated group crossed 156 peepers (and noted 8 dead) and 356 wood frogs (+ an alarming 335 dead), for a total of 512 live frogs. Frog lovers, take note: Eastern Avenue could use some more love on our next Big Night!

Jordan Road saw our only significant salamander movement, as a hearty crew crossed 36 Jefferson salamanders (+ 2 dead), 1 lonely spotted salamander, 27 peepers (+ 7 dead), and 36 wood frogs (+ 23 dead), for a total of 100 live amphibians.

North Lincoln Street was hopping (literally!), as a robust crew of 25 Crossing Brigadiers moved 905 live spring peepers (and counted more than 291 dead) and 167 wood frogs (+ 32 dead) across the road, for a total of 1,072 live frogs.

A team of two tackled Route 10 near the Keene-Gilsum border, moving 18 spring peepers (+ 3 dead) and 6 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), 24 live frogs in all.

Nelson

The Nelson Road crossing was relatively quiet: over the course of one hour, a one-woman team moved 1 Eastern newt, 4 spring peepers (and noted 9 dead), 2 wood frogs (+ 3 dead), and 1 green frog, for a total of 8 live amphibians. Later on in the evening, another volunteer inspected the site and was pleased to report that “there was no obvious sign of any roadkill, except for a hamburger.” Go figure!

A pair of wood frogs in amplexus. (photo © Jess Baum)

This pair of wood frogs was eager to get to their breeding pool! (photo © Jess Baum)

Peterborough

Frogs were the focus at Summer Street, where Our Town Brigadiers crossed 33 spring peepers (+ 17 dead) and 54 wood frogs (+ 28 dead), 87 live frogs in all.

Swanzey

At Matthews Road, one intrepid volunteer crossed 1 spotted salamander, 30 spring peepers, 5 wood frogs, and 1 unidentified frog, for a total of 37 live critters. She also noted 35 dead amphibians.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. 15 Brigadiers crossed 11 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 7 redbacked salamanders, 12 Eastern newts (+ 16 dead), 260 spring peepers (+ 40 dead), and 62 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), for a total of 352 live critters.

Winchester

The jolly crew at Forest Lake Road crossed 2 spotted salamanders, 5 four-toed salamanders (+ 2 dead), 19 spring peepers ( + 10 dead), and 23 wood frogs (+ 14 dead), and noted two dead unidentified salamanders, for a total of 49 live amphibians.

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Contact Us

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email.