Field Reports from the 2017 Amphibian Migration

At a Glance: Salamander Season 2017

2017 was characterized by unpredictable weather and even more unpredictable amphibian movement. Frogs hopped in February, salamanders slithered on dry ground, and a drawn-out string of Small- and Medium-Sized Nights kept our flashlights beaming. Through it all, our Crossing Brigade volunteers worked tirelessly to move more than 3,700 amphibians to safety at nearly 40 different road crossings.

May 15, 2017

Final Tallies for 2017

A hand holding a spotted salamander. (photo © Mary Kate Sheridan)

The joy of spring! See more photos from this year’s amphibian migration on Flickr.
(photo © Mary Kate Sheridan)

Drum roll, please: in 2017, our Salamander Crossing Brigades helped a whopping 3,707 amphibians of 13 different species — including 837 spotted salamanders, 693 wood frogs, and 1,671 spring peepers — along on their journeys at nearly 40 different road crossing sites. Even more astounding: since 2007, hundreds of salamander citizen scientists throughout the Monadnock Region have helped nearly 35,000 amphibians survive the most dangerous journey of their lives.

In addition, we identified one individual spotted salamander who was moved across North Lincoln Street in Keene by our volunteers in 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014. The exact same salamander, all four years! 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

Alstead Center Road. A father-daughter team crossed 19 amphibians, including 17 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, and 1 spring peeper.

Jess Baum beams with a spotted salamander in her hand. (photo © Jess Baum)

Salamanders make people smile.
(photo © Jess Baum)

Antrim

Route 9. An extremely courageous mother-son team moved 145 live amphibians across Route 9 and counted 192 dead. Their tally included 49 spotted salamanders (+62 dead), 41 wood frogs (+43 dead), 26 peepers (+37 dead), 24 Eastern newts (+48 dead), 4 green frogs (+2 dead), and 1 toad.

Deering

Route 149. A mother-son team crossed 20 live amphibians and recorded 7 dead, including: 6 Eastern newts (+3 dead), 5 peepers (+1 dead), 4 spotted salamanders, 2 green frogs (+1 dead), 2 toads, and 1 bullfrog (+2 dead).

Dublin

Craig Road. An enthusiastic family of Salamander Brigadiers moved 32 live amphibians across Craig Road, including: 11 wood frogs, 10 peepers, 7 green frogs, 2 spotted salamanders, 1 redbacked salamander, 1 toad, and 2 dead Eastern newts.

Page Road. That same family also crossed 14 critters at Page Road, including 7 peepers, 4 spotted salamanders, 1 green frog, and 1 wood frog.

Francestown

Route 136. A terrific twosome crossed 22 live amphibians and noted 36 dead, including: 19 spotted salamanders (+20 dead), 3 wood frogs (+15 dead), and 1 dead pickerel frog.

Gilsum

Hammond Hollow Road. A mother-daughter team crossed 19 live amphibians and noted 7 dead, including: 8 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 7 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), and 4 unidentified amphibians.

Goshen

Route 31. A solo Brigadiers crossed 14 live amphibians and noted 7 dead, including: 6 spotted salamanders, 6 wood frogs (+1 dead), 2 peepers (+4 dead), and 2 dead newts.

A gray tree frog pauses on the road. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A gray tree frog poses for the paparazzi.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Hancock

Antrim Road. A fantastic family crossed 75 live amphibians and noted 25 dead, including: 48 peepers (+23 dead), 10 spotted salamanders, 8 redbacked salamanders, 5 green frogs, 2 pickerel frogs, 1 toad, 1 wood frog, and 2 dead Eastern newts.

Middle Road. A solo salamander superhero crossed 38 amphibians in a single night, including: 17 peepers, 8 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 6 wood frogs, 4 Eastern newts, 2 redbacked salamanders, and 1 bullfrog.

Route 123. A devoted duo crossed a total of 169 live amphibians and noted 136 dead, including: 76 spotted salamanders (+56 dead), 66 peepers (+45 dead), 21 wood frogs (+19 dead), 6 Eastern newts (+11 dead), and 5 dead bullfrogs. This site could use more help next year!

Route 137. A solo salamander superhero crossed 95 live amphibians and noted 29 dead in the vicinity of the DOT building. His tally included: 84 peepers (+29 dead), 6 spotted salamanders, 3 wood frogs, 1 Eastern newt, and 1 green frog.

A spotted salamander crawls across a data form. A gray tree frog poses for the paparazzi. (photo © Sarah Wilson)

The most adorable data you’ve ever seen.
(photo © Sarah Wilson)

Harrisville

Breed Road. A passing Brigadier moved 2 spotted salamanders across Breed Road, in the vicinity of Childs Bog. Toads typically abound there, too.

Chesham Road. On their way home, two caring Crossing Brigadiers moved 8 amphibians off Chesham Road, including 6 spotted salamanders and 2 toads.

Nelson Road. The salamander savers of Nelson Road in Harrisville crossed 43 live amphibians and recorded 11 dead (an underestimate, surely), including: 14 toads (+1 dead), 12 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 9 spring peepers (+2 dead), 5 wood frogs (+2 dead), 2 two-lined salamanders (+1 dead), and 1 newt (+4 dead).

Keene

Eastern Ave. The Eastern Avenue crew crossed 46 live amphibians and noted 25 dead — all wood frogs.

Gunn Road. A fantastic mother-daughter team moved 4 amphibians — 3 toads and 1 bullfrog — across Gunn Road on their way home one night.

Jordan Road. The salamander superheroes of Jordan Road crossed 108 live amphibians and noted 12 dead, including: 33 spotted salamanders (+4 dead), 15 Jefferson complex salamanders (+2 dead), 37 wood frogs (+3 dead), 11 redbacked salamanders, 9 peepers (+2 dead), 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), and 2 toads.

A wood frog finds her way across North Lincoln Street. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A wood frog finds her way across North Lincoln Street. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

North Lincoln Street. It was a quieter year at our Keene crossings, but the steadfast crew at North Lincoln Street collectively crossed 453 live amphibians and recorded 42 dead, including: 221 wood frogs (+13 dead), 219 peepers (+26 dead), 6 spotted salamanders, 4 Eastern newts (+3 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, 1 toad, and 1 gray tree frog.

Route 101. A solo salamander savior moved 4 wood frogs and 1 spotted salamander, 5 amphibians in all, off Route 101 on her way to work one morning.

Lempster

Mountain Road. A dynamic duo discovered this new-to-us crossing and aided 39 live amphibians, including: 14 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 15 peepers (+2 dead), and 10 wood frogs (+5 dead).

Marlborough

Route 101. 1 lucky spotted salamander was moved across Route 101 in Marlborough by a passing Brigadier.

Marlow

Route 10. A terrific twosome discovered this new-to-use site and crossed 16 amphibians there, including: 10 spring peepers, 5 wood frogs (+4 dead), and 1 spotted salamander.

Nelson

Nelson Road. A small, but devoted crew at Nelson Road saved 368 live amphibians and recorded 72 dead, including: 51 spotted salamanders (+4 dead), 200 spring peepers (+41 dead), 88 wood frogs (+14 dead), 16 newts (+11 dead), 7 toads (+2 dead), 2 redbacked salamanders, 3 two-lined salamanders, and 1 green frog.

A mother-daughter team, all decked out for Big Night. (photo © Amy Unger)

Three cheers for the New Boston contingent! (photo © Amy Unger)

New Boston

Clark Hill Road. The New Boston contingent crossed 5 critters at Clark Hill, including 3 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 1 spring peeper, and 1 green frog.

Old Coach Road. An enthusiastic family of Crossing Brigadiers discovered this new-to-us crossing site, moving 101 live amphibians across the road, and counting 12 dead, along the way. Their tally included 55 spotted salamanders (+10 dead), 27 peepers, 12 redbacked salamanders, 3 pickerel frogs, 1 wood frog, 1 gray tree frog, 1 green frog, 1 four-toed salamander, and 2 dead Eastern newts.

Route 136. That same family also discovered this new-to-us crossing, moving 18 live amphibians and 7 dead off the road, including: 8 green frogs (+1 dead), 6 wood frogs (+3 dead), 2 spotted salamanders, 1 pickerel frog (+2 dead), 1 gray tree frog, and 1 dead Eastern newt.

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. On their way home, a wonderful artist and his wonderful wife crossed 5 spotted salamanders on Thayer Road.

Newport

Oak Street. A mother-daughter team crossed 33 live amphibians and recorded 35 dead, including: 23 spring peepers (+33 dead), 9 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), and 1 pickerel frog.

A Summer Street spottie. (photo © Tyler Hogan)

A Summer Street spottie. (photo © Tyler Hogan)

Peterborough

Sand Hill Road. On their way home from other crossings, two observant Crossing Brigadiers moved 5 live spotted salamanders (+2 dead) off Sand Hill Road over the course of two nights. This site could use some further investigation next spring!

Summer Street. The dedicated Summer Street crew collectively crossed 624 live amphibians and noted 130 dead, including: 68 spotted salamanders (+21 dead), 439 spring peepers (+77 dead), 67 wood frogs (+12 dead), 22 newts (+6 dead), 17 toads, 6 green frogs (+3 dead), and 5 redbacked salamanders (+1 dead).

Rindge

Old New Ipswich Road. A mother-son team of longtime Crossing Brigadiers aided 11 critters, including 5 wood frogs, 4 spring peepers (+3 dead), and 2 toads. Their thoughts were with their good friend and enthusiastic salamander protector, Jan Griska, who was with them in spirit.

A spotted salamander smiles up from the road. (photo © Jenifer Dickinson)

A captivating smile. (photo © Jenifer Dickinson)

Springfield, VT

Route 5. A family of heroes moved 131 amphibians off of Route 5 in a single night, including 76 spotted salamanders, 31 peepers, 19 wood frogs, and 5 toads.

Swanzey

Matthews Road. Two solo salamander superheroes single-handedly crossed 172 live amphibians and noted 132 dead, including: 21 spotted salamanders (+6 dead), 96 peepers (+103 dead), 47 toads (+22 dead), 2 wood frogs, 2 redbacked salamanders, and 2 Eastern newts. This site could use more help next year!

Sawyer’s Crossing Road. A solo Brigadier crossed 5 spotted salamanders and 1 four-toed salamander, 6 salamanders in all, at the aptly named Sawyer’s Crossing Road.

Swanzey Lake Road. A terrific twosome crossed 17 amphibians over the course of several nights, including: 12 spotted salamanders (+6 dead), 4 spring peepers (+2 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, and 1 dead wood frog. These numbers are low for this particular site, and we’re not quite sure why the critters were quiet there this year.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. A dedicated crew crossed a total of 751 live amphibians and counted 175 dead, including: 213 spotted salamanders (+18 dead), 399 spring peepers (+87 dead), 59 wood frogs (+6 dead), 41 newts (+50 dead), 31 toads (+6 dead), 3 pickerel frogs (+5 dead), 2 green frogs (+3 dead), 1 gray tree frog, 1 Jefferson complex salamander, and 1 redbacked salamander. They were also treated to several magical nights of watching hundreds of spotted salamanders dance in Harvey Pond.

A teenage Crossing Brigadier cradles a wood frog in her hands. Spring smiles, all around. (photo © Summer Brooks)

Spring smiles, all around.
(photo © Summer Brooks)

River Road. A terrific twosome crossed 34 live amphibians and noted 5 dead over the course of several nights. Their tallies included 20 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 11 wood frogs (+2 dead), 2 toads, and 1 unidentified salamander. These numbers are low for this particular site, and we’re not quite sure why the critters were quiet there this year.

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. The jubilant critter crossers of Forest Lake Road rescued 41 live amphibians and recorded 8 dead, including: an impressive 14 four-toed salamanders (+1 dead), 10 peepers (+4 dead), 7 spotted salamanders, 7 wood frogs, 1 Eastern newt (+2 dead), 1 toad (+1 dead), and 1 gray tree frog.

Three cheers for the Salamander Crossing Brigades! We can’t wait to do it all over again in 2018.

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May 5, 2017

A Small Night

A spring peeper pauses while crossing the road. (photo © Katie Barnes)

Peepers bookended the salamander season. See more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigade on Flickr. (photo © Katie Barnes)

A Small Night marked the end of salamander season on May 5. We’re now up to 3,689 collectively crossed critters representing 13 different species — including 829 spotted salamanders, 686 wood frogs, and 1,762 spring peepers — as well as 1,183 recorded roadkills. Read on for a few site-by-site details:

Keene

Jordan Road. A mother-daughter team crossed 1 redbacked salamander, and noted, thankfully, no roadkill.

Nelson

Nelson Road. In half an hour, a solo Brigadier crossed 9 spring peepers (+ 1 dead).

Swanzey

Swanzey Lake Road. The only things moving at Swanzey Lake Road were the Crossing Brigadiers!

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. A small crew crossed 2 newts (+ 2 dead) and 87 peepers (+ 9 dead), 89 amphibians in all. They also noted the presence of “lots of impressive worms” and nearby beaver and barred owl activity.

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April 26, 2017

Movement in the Mist

All hail the noble toad! (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A diversity of amphibians made their move in a heavy mist on April 26. We’re now up to 3,590 collectively crossed critters representing 13 different species — including 829 spotted salamanders, 686 wood frogs, and 1,666 spring peepers — as well as 1,171 recorded roadkills. Read on for a few site-by-site details:

Keene

Jordan Road. A late-night solo Crossing Brigadier moved 1 Jefferson complex salamander across Jordan Road, and it was moving toward the vernal pools — surprising for this late in the year, as Jeffersons are early-season breeders!

Harrisville

Nelson Road and Breed Road. A solo Brigadier crossed 2 two-lined salamanders (+ 1 dead), 5 spring peepers (+ 2 dead), 10 toads (+ 1 dead), and 1 red-bellied snake in the vicinity of Childs Bog, for a total of 17 live amphibians and 1 live reptile.

Nelson

Nelson Road. Two separate salamander adorers collectively crossed 2 redbacked salamanders, 1 two-lined salamander, 11 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), 50 peepers (+ 10 dead), and 1 green frog, and noted 3 dead newts, 65 live amphibians in all. Also of note: a single, lonely, and very late wood frog calling among the din of peepers, and a pair of barred owls keeping an eye on the action from a nearby tree!

New Boston

Old Coach Road. Two sisters and their four kids crossed 1 spotted salamander, 4 redbacked salamanders, 1 four-toed salamander (!), 1 wood frog, 11 peepers, 1 green frog, and 1 gray tree frog, 28 amphibians in all. On their way home, they also moved 1 green frog and 1 gray tree frog off of Route 136.

Swanzey

Matthews Road. A solo salamander hero crossed 1 redbacked salamander, 11 peepers (+ 11 dead), 10 toads (+ 3 dead), and one lucky snail, 22 live amphibians in all. A late-night passerby also moved 1 spotted salamander.

Sawyers Crossing Road. A passing Salamander Crossing Brigadier moved 5 spotted salamanders and 1 four-toed salamander to safety.

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April 25, 2017

On the Road Again

A mother-daughter team prepares to help the amphibians of Old Coach Road in New Boston. (photo © Amy Unger)

A mother-daughter team prepares to help the amphibians of Old Coach Road in New Boston. See more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigade on Flickr. (photo © Amy Unger)

The migration continued on April 25, with many critters making their way back to the woods, their breeding done for the year. We’re now up to 3,321 collectively crossed critters representing 13 different species — including 722 spotted salamanders, 673 wood frogs, and 1,562 peepers — as well as 1,083 recorded roadkills. Read on for site-by-site details from April 25:

Goshen

Route 31. A solo Brigadier crossed 14 live amphibians and noted 7 dead at the Goshen-Washington town line, including 6 spotted salamanders, 6 wood frogs (+1 dead), 2 peepers (+4 dead), and 2 dead newts.

Harrisville

Nelson Road and Breed Road. Two solo salamander superheroes crossed 7 spotted salamanders, 1 eastern newt (+ 4 dead), 5 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), and 4 large toads (“I thought they might be bulldogs”) at Nelson Road, and another 2 spotted salamanders at Breed Road, for a total of 19 live amphibians. The area near Childs Bog is a hotspot!

Hancock

Route 123. A dedicated mother-daughter team ushered to safety 44 spotted salamanders (+ 29 dead), 1 newt (+ 5 dead), 4 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), and 20 peepers (+ 10 dead), and recorded 2 dead bullfrogs, for a total of 69 live amphibians.

Keene

A spotted salamander smiles for its Crossing Brigade hero. (photo © Jenifer Dickinson)

A real charmer. (photo © Jenifer Dickinson)

Jordan Road. 2 people crossed 4 spotted salamanders, 3 redbacked salamanders (1 in the erythristic phase), 6 wood frogs, and 3 peepers (+ 1 dead), for a total of 16 live amphibians in just under an hour.

North Lincoln Street. 5 humans crossed 91 critters, including 1 spotted salamander, 1 redbacked salamander, 40 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), 49 peepers (+ 4 dead), and one dead Eastern newt. All of the wood frogs, and the lone spotted salamander were headed back into the woods.

Nelson

Nelson Road. Two solo salamander superheroes crossed 8 spotted salamanders (+ 3 dead), 3 wood frogs (+ 3 dead), and 3 toads (+1 dead).

New Boston

Old Coach Road. Two mother-daughter teams worked together to cross 30 spotted salamanders (+ 6 dead), 12 spring peepers, 3 pickerel frogs, and 2 dead newts, 45 live amphibians in all. On their way home, they also crossed 2 spotted salamanders at Clark Hill Road and Route 136 in New Boston.

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. On their way home from another crossing, a pair of Crossing Brigadiers moved 5 spotted salamanders off of Thayer Road.

Peterborough

Summer Street. A dynamic duo crossed 6 wood frogs, 28 peepers, and 1 toad, for a total of 35 frogs in just one hour.

A roadside redbacked salamander contemplates the meaning of life. (photo © Dave Huth)

A roadside redbacked salamander contemplates the meaning of life. (photo © Dave Huth)

Swanzey

Matthews Road. A solo Brigadier moved 4 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 1 newt, 1 redbacked salamander, 38 peepers (+ 41 dead), and 4 toads (+ 2 dead), for a total of 48 animals safely crossed.

Swanzey Lake Road. A terrific twosome crossed 17 live ones, including: 12 spotted salamanders (+ 6 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, 4 peepers (+ 2 dead),  and 1 dead wood frog.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. A terrific twosome crossed 29 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 10 peepers, and 7 wood frogs, for a total of 46 live amphibians.

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April 21, 2017

An Earth Day Migration

A spotted salamander walks along an unpaved road shoulder. (photo © Jenifer Dickinson)

A roadside wanderer. (photo © Jenifer Dickinson)

April 21 was a small, but not insignificant night. Amphibian activity was quiet at many of our tried-and-true sites, but Crossing Brigadiers were undeterred, bringing our season total up to 2,898 collectively crossed critters — including 568 spotted salamanders, 596 wood frogs, and 1,392 peepers — as well as 939 recorded roadkills. Read on for site-by-site details from April 21:

Francestown

Route 136. Despite heavy traffic, 5 spotted salamanders were safely aided across the road. Another 8 dead spotted salamanders and 3 dead wood frogs were also counted.

Hancock

Antrim Road. A fantastic family crossed 7 peepers (+ 3 dead) and 1 redbacked salamander, and noted 2 dead newts.

Route 123. A mother-daughter duo crossed 22 spotted salamanders (+ 20 dead), 25 peepers (+ 20 dead), and 3 dead Eastern newts, for a total of 47 live amphibians.

Keene

Jordan Road. Another quiet night, with just 1 redbacked salamander and 1 spring peeper to be found!

North Lincoln Street. The North Lincoln Street crew crossed 17 peepers (+ 2 dead), 2 wood frogs, and 2 Eastern newts (+2 dead), 21 live amphibians in all.

A spotted salamander gets a helping hand in Peterborough. (photo © Tyler Hogan)

A spotted salamander gets a helping hand in Peterborough. (photo © Tyler Hogan)

Nelson

Nelson Road. A solo salamander saver moved 2 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 3 Eastern newts, 2 wood frogs , 6 peepers, and 2 toads across Nelson Road, for a total of 15 live amphibians. She also found a red-bellied snake!

New Boston

Old Coach Road. A family crossed 11 spotted salamanders (+ 4 dead) and 4 peepers, 15 lucky amphibians in all.

Peterborough

Middle Road. A passing Salamander Crossing Brigadier moved 3 spotted salamanders across Middle Road.

Summer Street. The Summer Street crew crossed 5 spotted salamanders, 9 newts (+ 2 dead), 2 wood frogs, and71 peepers (+ 8 dead), and noted 6 unidentifiable dead amphibians, for a total of 87 live amphibians.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. A dedicated family of Crossing Brigadiers safely crossed 101 peepers (+ 9 dead) and 13 Eastern newts (+ 32 dead), for a total of 114 live amphibians. Interesting note: not a single spotted salamander, despite a ton of salamander activity, less than a week before!

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April 19, 2017

A Strange Spring Night

A spotted salamander makes its way across Nelson Road on April 19, 2017. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A spotted salamander makes its way across Nelson Road on April 19, 2017. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

April 19 was a strange night. Some sites saw nearly no amphibian movement, despite perfect conditions. Other sites had boatloads of salamanders. Read on for site-by-site details:

Alstead

Alstead Center Road. A father-daughter team crossed 17 spotted salamanders (+ 3 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, and 1 peeper, 19 live amphibians in all.

Antrim

Route 9. A gutsy mother-son team moved 13 spotted salamanders (+ 14 dead), 5 Eastern newts (+ 7 dead), 2 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), and 3 peepers (+ 10 dead), for a total of 23 live animals. This crossing site is very dangerous — for amphibians and people — so approach it with extreme caution!

Hancock

Antrim Road. A solo superhero crossed 4 spotted salamanders, 2 redbacked salamanders, 1 wood frog, 13 peepers (+ 3 dead), and 1 green frog, for a total of 21 live amphibians.

Route 137. That same superhero moved 6 spotted salamanders, 1 newt, 3 wood frogs, 84 peepers (+ 29 dead), and 1 green frog off of Route 137, near the DOT building, 95 live amphibians in all.

A (yellow) spotted salamander with unusually drab spots, found at an Antrim road crossing. (photo © Nathan Schaefer)

A (yellow) spotted salamander with unusually drab spots, found at an Antrim road crossing.
(photo © Nathan Schaefer)

Harrisville

Nelson Road. Two separate Crossing Brigadiers moved a collective total of 17 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 9 wood frogs, and 2 peepers off of Nelson Road in Harrisville, for a total of 28 live amphibians in just half an hour.

Keene

Jordan Road. An unexpectedly quiet night, as 8 humans found just 1 redbacked salamander, 1 Jefferson salamander, and 2 peepers on Jordan Road.

North Lincoln Street. Many people (10), but few amphibians (12), including 11 peepers (+ 3 dead) and 1 wood frog.

Lempster

Mountain Road. A dynamic duo crossed 14 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 10 wood frogs (+ 5 dead), and 15 peepers (+ 2 dead), for a total of 39 live amphibians.

New Boston

Old Coach Road. A mother and son moved 13 spotted salamanders off of Old Coach Road on their way home.

Bullfrogs make their first appearance! (photo © Phil Brown)

Bullfrogs make their first appearance!
(photo © Phil Brown)

Peterborough

Summer Street. The Summer Street crew crossed 11 spotted salamanders (+ 3 dead), 1 Eastern newt, 2 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), and 43 peepers (+ 17 dead), 57 live amphibians in all.

Springfield, VT

Route 5. A family of dedicated Crossing Brigadiers moved 76 spotted salamanders, 19 wood frogs, 31 peepers, and 5 toads across Route 5, 131 live animals in all.

Swanzey

Swanzey Lake Road. A couple looked for amphibians to cross but there were none!

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. The Glebe Road crew crossed a whopping 128 spotted salamanders (+ 9 dead), 1 Jefferson salamander, 3 newts (+ 5 dead), 1 redbacked salamander, 4 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), and 68 peepers (+ 17 dead), 205 live amphibians in all.

River Road. A terrific team of two moved 2 spotted salamanders and 1 wood frog off of River Road.

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April 16, 2017

A Postscript

Four photos of the same salamander, taken in four different years, at our North Lincoln Street amphibian crossing site.

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.

REALLY COOL NEWS: after examining photographs of the spotted salamanders who were moved across Monadnock Region roads by Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteers on April 16, we were able to identify one individual who was moved across North Lincoln Street in Keene in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017! Same salamander, all four years, as verified by its one-of-a-kind spot pattern!

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April 16, 2017

Make Way for the Easter Salamander!

A happy Salamander Crossing Brigadier. (photo © Amy Cate)

Happy salamander; happy Salamander Crossing Brigadier! (photo © Amy Cate)

The 2017 migration continued on Easter evening, bringing our annual total to 1,987 live amphibians of 11 different species (and, sadly, at least 657 dead). Read on for site-by-site details:

Antrim

Route 9. A very brave family — who has been shepherding salamanders in Antrim since well before the inception of the Salamander Crossing Brigades — crossed 15 spotted salamanders (+ 16 dead), 17 newts (+ 39 dead), 12 wood frogs (+ 13 dead), 14 peepers (+ 19 dead), 4 green frogs (+ 1 dead), and 1 toad, and noted 1 dead red-bellied snake, at Route 9 in Antrim, near the junction with Salmon Brook Road.

Deering

Route 149. A mother-son team crossed 20 live animals, including 4 spotted salamanders, 6 Eastern newts (+ 3 dead), 5 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), 2 green frogs (+ 1 dead), 1 bullfrog (+ 2 dead), and 2 toads. They also noted 2 snakes and 1 dead painted turtle, and reported: While it wasn’t the busiest, it was a beautiful night! We saw a raccoon, listened to owls quabble, and watched some catfish.

Francestown

Route 136. The new Francestown crew crossed 8 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead) and noted 8 dead wood frogs.

Hancock

Antrim Road. A late-night hero crossed 6 spotted salamanders, 5 redbacked salamanders, 28 peepers (+ 17 dead), 2 pickerel frogs, 4 green frogs, and 1 toad, 46 live amphibians in all.

Middle Road and Old Dublin Road. A solo salamander saver crossed 5 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 2 redbacked salamanders, 4 newts, 6 wood frogs, 17 peepers, and 1 bullfrog on Middle Road, and another 3 spotted salamanders on Old Dublin Road on her way home, for a total of 38 live amphibians.

Route 123. A mother-daughter team crossed 10 spotted salamanders (+ 7 dead), 5 Eastern newts (+ 3 dead), 17 wood frogs (+ approx. 15 dead), and 20 peepers (+ approx. 15 dead), and noted 5 dead bullfrogs, for a total of 52 live amphibians.

Harrisville

Chesham Road and Nelson Road. On her way home, one Harrisvillian crossed 12 spotted salamanders and 2 toads on Chesham Road, and another spotted salamander on Nelson Road, near Harrisville Pond.

A gray tree frog makes a grand appearance. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A gray tree frog makes a grand appearance.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Keene

Eastern Ave. 2 volunteers passing through crossed 5 live wood frogs and counted around a dozen dead.

Gunn Road: A mother-daughter team crossed 1 bullfrog and 3 toads on their way home.

Jordan Road. A hearty crew crossed 29 spotted salamanders (+ 4 dead), 1 Jefferson salamander, 1 newt (+ 1 dead), 5 redbacked salamanders, 25 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), 3 spring peepers (+ 1 dead), and 2 toads, for a total of 66 live amphibians.

North Lincoln Street. The gang at North Lincoln Street crossed 4 spotted salamanders, 2 newts, 43 wood frogs (+ 5 dead), 65 peepers (+ 11 dead), 1 toad, and 1 gray tree frog, 166 live amphibians in all. Of note: all the adult wood frogs were heading away from the wetland, their courtship and egg laying done!

Marlborough

Route 101. On her way home from another crossing, a Brigadier safely moved 1 spotted salamander across Route 101. A state trooper stopped to look into what she was doing, saw her in her reflective vest and rain gear, and said, simply and with a smile, “Salamander?”

Marlow

Route 10. A dynamic duo crossed 1 spotted salamander, 5 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), and 10 spring peepers on Route 10, about a mile from Marlow Town Center.

A spotted salamander smiles in a Crossing Brigadier's hand. (photo © Jess Baum)

An endearing smile, if ever there was one.
(photo © Jess Baum)

Nelson

Nelson Road. The Nelson crew was back for a second night in a row, crossing 25 spotted salamanders, 12 Eastern newts (+ 8 dead), 2 two-lined salamanders (!), 28 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), 119 spring peepers (+ 24 dead), and 2 toads (+ 1 dead), for a total of 188 live amphibians.

New Boston

Clark Hill Road and Route 136. One family of Crossing Brigadiers moved 2 spotted salamanders (+ 1 dead), 1 peeper, and 1 green frog across Clark Hill Road, then ventured to Route 136, where they rescued 1 spotted salamander, 6 wood frogs (+ 3 dead), 1 pickerel frog (+ 2 dead), and 7 green frogs (+ 1 dead), for a grand total of 19 live amphibians.

Newport

Oak Street. A mother-daughter team rescued 8 spotted salamanders, 23 spring peepers (+ 21 dead), and 1 pickerel frog. The daughter reported: It was incredible to share this spring night with my mom…..who has been, and continues to be, my greatest teacher and partner in the adventures for all things nature!!! Who else would answer their phone at 10:30 PM and say YES! to going to find spring!!

Peterborough

Summer Street. A robust crew rescued 25 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 7 Eastern newts (+ 3 dead), 5 redbacked salamanders (+ 1 dead), 36 wood frogs (+ 5 dead), 248 spring peepers (+ 48 dead), 6 green frogs (+ 3 dead), 16 toads, and noted 4 unidentified dead frogs, 343 live amphibians in all.

Rindge

Old New Ipswich Road. A mother-son team of longtime Crossing Brigadiers crossed 5 wood frogs, 4 spring peepers (+ 3 dead), and 2 toads. Their thoughts were with their good friend and enthusiastic salamander protector, Jan Griska, who was with them in spirit.

A spring peeper clings to a data form. (photo © Nancy Belluscio)

The very best kind of data.
(photo © Nancy Belluscio)

Swanzey

Matthews Road. On two separate shifts, two solo adventurers crossed 17 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead), 1 newt, 2 wood frogs, 47 spring peepers (+ 51 dead), 33 toads (+ 17 dead), 2 unidentified frogs, and 2 spiders with luminescent eyes, and noted 1 unidentified dead salamander, 102 live amphibians in all.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. Glebe Road was hopping! Two families crossed 20 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 3 Eastern newts (+ 6 dead), 47 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), 82 peepers (+ 31 dead), 3 pickerel frogs (+ 5 dead), 2 green frogs (+ 3 dead), 31 toads (+ 6 dead), and 1 gray tree frog, for a total of 189 live amphibians. They also reported hearing thousands of peepers and seeing hundreds of salamanders congressing in the pond, and said it was “an amazing night!”

River Road. A dynamic duo aided 30 live amphibians, inlcuding 17 spotted salamanders (+ 3 dead), 10 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), 2 toads, and 1 unidentified salamander (possibly a Jefferson/blue-spotted complex!)

Winchester

Forest Lake Road.  The ever-jolly crew at Forest Lake Road crossed 7 spotted salamanders, 14 four-toed salamanders (+ 1 dead), 1 eastern newt (+ 2 dead), 10 spring peepers (+ 4 dead), 1 toad (+ 1 dead), and 1 gray tree frog, 34 live amphibians in all.

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April 15, 2017

A Migration on Dry Roads (?!)

A smiling Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteer. (photo © Jess Baum)

Happy is she who holds the salamander.
(photo © Jess Baum)

Warm temperatures and a short, early evening shower spurred a Small Night on dry roads (!!) throughout the region.

Antrim

Route 9. A courageous family moved 21 spotted salamanders (+ 32 dead), 2 newts (+ 2 dead) 27 wood frogs (+ 26 dead), and 9 spring peepers (+ 8 dead) across Route 9 in Antrim, near the junction with Salmon Brook Road, 59 live animals in all.

Dublin

Craig Road and Page Road. A family of five safely crossed 29 amphibians on Craig Road, including: 2 spotted salamanders, 1 redbacked salamander, 9 wood frogs, 10 peepers, 6 green frogs, and 1 toad. They then proceeded to Page Road, where they crossed another 4 spotted sallies, 1 wood frog, 7 peepers, and 1 green frog.

Keene

North Lincoln Street. A family crossed 1 spotted salamander (first of the year for that site!) and 1 wood frog during a late-night stroll.

Nelson

Nelson Road. Four Crossing Brigadiers aided 54 amphibians across a bone-dry road! Their tally included: 3 spotted salamanders, 1 newt, 35 wood frogs (+ 5 dead), and 15 spring peepers (+ 6 dead).

Peterborough

Summer Street. A small, but enthusiastic crew crossed 88 amphibians, including 21 spotted salamanders (+ 4 dead), 5 Eastern newts (+ 1 dead), 19 wood frogs (+ 2 dead), and 43 spring peepers (+ 4 dead).

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. The Glebe Road crew ushered in their first migration of the season, crossing 36 spotted salamanders (+ 2 dead), 1 wood frog, 20 newts (+ noted 16 dead), and 51 spring peepers (+ 21 dead), for a total of 108 live amphibians.

River Road. Two volunteers crossed one lucky spotted salamander.

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April 12, 2017

Spotted Salamanders Appear!

A spotted salamander gives a smile of appreciation for the lift across Summer Street. (photo © Tyler Hogan)

A spotted salamander gives a smile of appreciation for the lift across Summer Street.
(photo © Tyler Hogan)

The rain ended by dark, but roads remained wet for a short time afterward, spurring a small migration. Of note: spotted salamanders made their first appearance of the season!

Dublin

Craig Road. An enthusiastic family of new Crossing Brigadiers moved 2 wood frogs and 1 green frog. They also noted 2 dead newts.

Francestown

Route 136. A solo Brigadier at a new-to-us crossing moved 6 spotted salamanders (+ noted 7 dead) and 3 wood frogs (+4 dead), and found 1 dead pickerel frog.

Gilsum

Hammond Hollow Road. A mother-daughter team crossed 19 live amphibians and noted 7 dead, including 8 spotted salamanders (+ 5 dead) and 7 wood frogs (+ 2 dead).

Peterborough

Summer Street. A dedicated duo crossed 11 spotted salamanders (+ 10 dead), 2 wood frogs (+ 4 dead), and 6 spring peepers, 19 live amphibians in all.

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April 6, 2017

A Medium Night

A Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteer holds a wood frog. (photo © Summer Brooks)

The joy of the spring amphibian migration.
(photo © Summer Brooks)

With temperatures hovering around a chilly 38°, April 6 was a “Medium” — not a “Big” — Night in Keene, and a “Small” Night at at least one other crossing. Of note: Jefferson salamanders made their first appearance of the season, as did female wood frogs.

Keene

Eastern Avenue. This site was quieter, but a hearty crew of 5 volunteers crossed 39 wood frogs (+ noted more than a dozen dead).

Jordan Road. One dedicated Brigadier crossed 13 Jefferson salamanders (+ 1 dead) and 6 wood frogs (+ 1 dead), for a total of 19 live amphibians.

North Lincoln Street. Ten Crossing Brigadiers braved the chilly rain to move 118 wood frogs (+ 4 dead) and 66 spring peepers (+ 3 dead) across North Lincoln Street, for a total of 184 live frogs.

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. An enthusiastic crew of 7 moved 7 live wood frogs (a 1:1 human:frog ratio!) at Forest Lake Road.

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February 25, 2017

Frogs in February?!?

A wood frog contemplates climate change at North Lincoln Street. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A wood frog contemplates climate change at North Lincoln Street. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

February 25 was not a “Big” Night, but it was certainly notable for its record timing. This migration took place a full two weeks earlier than our next earliest migration in eleven years of keeping track (March 9, 2016), and three weeks earlier than the next earliest migration after that (March 16, 2012). Historically, the vast majority of our migrations have not taken place until April. We’re in a whole new world here.

Keene

North Lincoln Street. A small crew of veteran Crossing Brigadiers moved 15 wood frogs and 4 spring peepers (+ the season’s first casualty) across the road at North Lincoln Street, for a total of 19 live frogs.

Eastern Avenue. This site was quieter, but 2 wood frogs (+ 1 dead) were crossed here as well.

 

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Contact Us

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