Field Reports from the 2024 Amphibian Migration

The Latest on Big Nights, Small Nights, and In-Between Nights

This is the spot for photos and site-by-site amphibian counts from our 2024 Salamander Crossing Brigades. We update this page and our Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive reports from our volunteers, so if you’ve got photos or counts to share, please submit them here!

May 22, 2024

Final Tallies for 2024

A person wearing a reflective vest and headlamp is smiling while holding a spotted salamander in their hand. (photo © Jenny Wooster)

Salamander joy was on full display this spring! You can find more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Jenny Wooster)

In the spring of 2024, more than 300 people volunteered with our Salamander Crossing Brigades, contributing over 1,200 volunteer-hours and providing safe passage for 7,536 individual amphibians of 13 different species — including 4,793 spring peepers, 1,066 spotted salamanders, and 749 wood frogs — at 35 crossing sites in 21 towns throughout southwest New Hampshire. This brings our project total to a jaw-dropping 85,717 amphibian rescues since 2007. Wow!

Our Crossing Brigadiers also documented a sobering 1,225 roadkilled amphibians this year, and identified 9 new-to-us amphibian road crossing locations that we’ll add to our map of crossing sites for next spring.

In Keene, amphibians were afforded an even greater measure of protection, as the Harris Center worked with the City of Keene to close the North Lincoln Street crossing site to all vehicles on 6 migration nights and to close the Jordan Road crossing site to through-traffic on 5 migration nights — ensuring safe passage even after our Crossing Brigadiers had gone home for the night. This was the sixth season of Big Night detours at North Lincoln Street, and the third year at Jordan Road. To our knowledge, Keene is still the only community in the Granite State to close roads for the protection of migrating amphibians. It’s an honor to partner with them on this forward-thinking conservation measure.

A juvenile bullfrog pauses on the yellow centerline of a paved road. (photo © Taylor Jackson)

A young bullfrog contemplates climate change on February 28. (photo © Taylor Jackson)

The 2024 season was also notable for its early start, with our first migration of the year occurring on February 28 in Keene, Swanzey, and other low-elevation areas. Although it was a relatively Small Night, it was the second-earliest migration in our 18 years of keeping track, and it drew the attention of the Boston Globe, New Hampshire Union Leader, and other news outlets.

As always, be sure to visit our Flickr feed for more photos from this season’s Crossing Brigades, and read on for site-by-site details from each crossing, listed in alphabetical order by town.

Chesterfield

Old Swanzey Road. A solo salamander saver interrupted her evening commute one night to move 9 spotted salamanders (+10 dead), 3 red-backed salamanders (+3 dead), 2 wood frogs (+4 dead), 6 spring peepers (+6 dead), and 1 American toad to safety.
Total: 21 live + 23 dead

Route 63. The same Brigadier crossed 8 spotted salamanders (+16 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders (+4 dead), 1 wood frog (+5 dead), and 7 spring peepers (+20 dead) in a single pass along Route 63, between Route 9 and Twin Brook Road.
Total: 18 live + 45 dead

Concord

Four pictures of the same spotted salamander, taken in four different years. (photo © Andy Chapman)

This spotted salamander was carried across Fisk Road by Crossing Brigadiers in 2020, 2022, 2023, and 2024, as confirmed by pictures of its one-of-a-kind spot pattern! Click on the image to open a larger view. (photos © Andy Chapman)

Fisk Road. The Concord contingent — 7 Brigadiers strong — spent 3 nights on patrol, providing safe passage for 19 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders, 16 wood frogs (+17 dead), and 25 spring peepers (+22 dead). Even cooler: this crew is keeping their own salamander spot pattern records, and one of this year’s salamanders was a four-time repeat visitor!
Total: 62 live + 42 dead

Dublin

Upper Jaffrey Road. In one night near the Learned Road wetland, two amphibian admirers crossed 23 spotted salamanders, 3 red-backed salamanders, 11 wood frogs, and 13 spring peepers (+5 dead).
Total: 50 live +5 dead

Francestown

Route 47. Two salamander stewards spent one night on patrol at Bennington Road (Route 47), where they crossed 22 spotted salamanders, 1 Eastern newt, 1 four-toed salamander, 10 wood frogs, and 29 spring peepers in just one hour. Sadly, they also noted many roadkilled amphibians, “probably as many or more than we helped across, but we were too overwhelmed to count them as well.” This site needs more help in 2025!
Total: 63 live + unknown dead

Hancock

A ground-level view of a spring peeper, paused in the middle of a road. (photo © Nate Marchessault)

Our Crossing Brigades provided safe passage for an astounding 4,793 spring peepers — including this one — in the spring of 2024. (photo © Nate Marchessault)

Middle Road. Ten amphibian aficionados spent three nights at Middle Road, where they crossed 7 spotted salamanders, 1 red-backed salamander, 61 wood frogs (+5 dead), and 27 spring peepers (+4 dead).
Total: 96 live + 9 dead

Route 137. A family of frog fans spent three nights on patrol at Route 137, where they provided safe passage for 1 Eastern newt (+3 dead), 1 red-backed salamander (+3 dead), 12 wood frogs (+6 dead), 31 spring peepers (+34 dead), and 1 green frog, and noted 1 dead spotted salamander. This site needs more help in 2025!
Total: 46 live + 47 dead

Harrisville

A toad pauses on the yellow centerline of a paved road. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

“I don’t care what the salamanders say. This is no time for smiling!” (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Breed and Nelson Roads at Childs Bog. Over the course of five nights at Childs Bog, three dedicated Brigadiers crossed 2 spotted salamanders, 1 Eastern newt (+6 dead), 5 two-lined salamanders, 4 red-backed salamanders, 1 wood frog, 26 spring peepers (+1 dead), 5 pickerel frogs (+1 dead), 14 green frogs, 5 bullfrogs, and 121 American toads (+1 dead). They also found one live Northern water snake and two dead painted turtle hatchlings. One night late in the season, they were supervised by a bobcat, watching quietly from the nearby woods.
Total: 184 live + 9 dead

Hancock Road. A solo salamander shepherd spent one night on patrol at Hancock Road, where she provided safe passage for 3 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 2 wood frogs (+5 dead), 12 spring peepers (+2 dead), and 1 green frog, and recorded 2 dead red-backed salamanders, 1 dead pickerel frog, and 5 unknown roadkills in just one hour. This site needs more help in 2025!
Total: 18 live + 17 dead

Henniker

An outstretched hand holding a small Jefferson complex salamander. (photo © Kara Reynolds)

Jefferson complex salamanders — a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New Hampshire — were only documented at two crossing sites this year. River Road was one of them.
(photo © Kara Reynolds)

Old West Hopkinton Road. A dynamic duo spent two nights at this new-to-us crossing site, crossing 8 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 10 red-backed salamanders (+4 dead), 1 wood frog, 23 spring peepers (+7 dead), 1 pickerel frog, 1 green frog, and 1 American toad, and recording 1 dead newt.
Total: 45 live + 15 dead

River Road. The River Road crew — 17 Brigadiers strong! — spent an impressive seven nights on patrol, collectively crossing 36 spotted salamanders (+7 dead), 5 Jefferson complex salamanders, 3 Eastern newts (+3 dead), 34 red-backed salamanders (+1 dead), 39 wood frogs (+1 dead), 154 spring peepers (+22 dead), 6 pickerel frogs, 4 gray tree frogs (+1 dead), 6 green frogs (+1 dead), and 5 American toads (+1 dead), and recording 1 dead amphibian of unknown species.
Total: 292 live + 38 dead

Hillsboro

Concord End and Flint Roads. One salamander-loving couple patrolled Flint and Concord End Roads on two nights, providing safe passage for 25 spotted salamanders, 4 Eastern newts (+1 dead), 1 two-lined salamander, 2 red-backed salamanders, 4 wood frogs, 22 spring peepers (+1 dead), 1 pickerel frog, and 1 green frog.
Total: 60 live + 2 dead

Keene

A young woman wearing a reflective vest smiles at the spring peeper she is holding in her hand. (photo © Chloe March)

Overheard at North Lincoln Street on April 30: “This is bringing me so much joy right now.” 
(photo © Chloe March)

Arch Street. One longtime Brigadier spent one night on Arch Street between Archway Farm and the junction with Felt Road, where he provided safe passage for 10 wood frogs (+1 dead), 1o spring peepers (+2 dead), and 15 American toads (+3 dead), and noted 1 dead spotted salamander.
Total: 35 live + 7 dead

Chapman Road. An enthusiastic solo Brigadier spent one night scoping out this new-to-us crossing site, where she provided safe passage for 4 wood frogs in one hour on patrol.
Total: 4 live

Jordan Road. The Jordan Road crew — 33 Crossing Brigadiers strong! — spent an impressive nine nights on patrol. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with the City of Keene, the road was closed to through-traffic on five of those nights. Collectively, these intrepid Brigadiers crossed 92 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 43 Jefferson complex salamanders (+1 dead), 2 two-lined salamanders, 52 red-backed salamanders (+6 dead), 48 wood frogs (+9 dead), 67 spring peepers (+12 dead), 3 gray tree frogs, 1 green frog, and 3 American toads. They also noted 1 dead Eastern newt. Many additional amphibians likely crossed under the protection of the road closures after our Brigadiers had gone home for the night. The strong showing of Jefferson complex salamanders was especially exciting, as they’re a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New Hampshire.
Total: 311 live + 31 dead

A young woman wearing a reflective vest and headlamp smiles while holding a spotted salamander in her hands. (photo © Chloe March)

Three cheers for the KSC Eco-Reps, who not only provided safe passage for hundreds of amphibians this spring, but also led a roadside cleanup at the North Lincoln Street crossing site!
(photo © Chloe March)

North Lincoln Street. At North Lincoln Street, a whopping 125 volunteers and visitors  — including enthusiastic crews from Keene State College and Antioch University New England — spent 11 nights on amphibian patrol from February through early May. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with the City of Keene, the road was closed to vehicles to protect migrating amphibians and provide a safe place for families to witness the magic of the migration on six of those nights. Collectively, this robust crew counted 42 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 49 Eastern newts (+74 dead), 1 two-lined salamander, 11 red-backed salamanders, 241 wood frogs (+4 dead), 2,066 spring peepers (+119 dead), 6 gray tree frogs, 6 bullfrogs, and 1 American toad. They also recorded 1 unidentified live amphibian and 3 unidentified dead. Many additional amphibians surely crossed — protected by the road closure barricades — after our Brigadiers had gone home for the night. Special thanks to the KSC Eco-Reps for conducting a roadside cleanup at this site, so the frogs didn’t have to leap over litter on their way to the wetland!
Total: 2,424 live + 201 dead

Route 10. Two brave Brigadiers spent one night on Route 10 near the Keene-Gilsum line, where they crossed 2 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 2 four-toed salamanders, 5 wood frogs, 94 spring peepers, 3 pickerel frogs, 6 green frogs, and 1 bullfrog. Sadly, there were “too many dead to get an accurate count.”
Total: 113 live + unknown dead

Lyndeborough

Cemetery and Putnam Hill Roads. Two frog fans spent one night exploring this new-to-us crossing site, providing safe passage for 1 red-backed salamander, 2 wood frogs, and 7 spring peepers (+4 dead) and noting 1 dead unidentified frog.
Total: 10 live + 5 dead

Marlborough

Jaffrey Road. In one night on patrol, a family of frog fans crossed 4 wood frogs (+3 dead), 1 spring peeper, and 1 American toad, and recorded 2 unknown dead.
Total: 6 live + 5 dead

Nelson

A woman in a reflective vest lays down on the pavement, with her hands and head looking up, impersonating the spotted salamander who is standing next to her on the road. (photo © Sarah Wilson)

In Which Sarah Does Her Best Impersonation of a Spotted Salamander. Now if only we could get the salamanders to wear headlamps and reflective vests…
(photo © Elizabeth Irvine)

Granite Lake Road. Two salamander shepherds spent four nights on Granite Lake Road, where they provided safe passage for 6 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 2 Eastern newts (+13 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders (+3 dead), 2 wood frogs (+3 dead), 96 spring peepers (+41 dead), 1 pickerel frog, and 2 green frogs. They also found one unidentified dead amphibian.
Total: 111 live + 64 dead

Nelson Road. The Nelson Road crew — 10 Brigadiers strong! — spent a commendable seven nights on patrol. Together, they crossed 91 spotted salamanders (+10 dead), 14 Eastern newts (+16 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 11 two-lined salamanders, 14 red-backed salamanders, 42 wood frogs (+24 dead), 672 spring peepers (+110 dead), 6 pickerel frogs (+1 dead), 5 green frogs (+1 dead), and 20 American toads. Roadkill numbers are significant underestimates, as some nights there were simply too many deed peepers to keep good count. This site needs more help in 2025!
Total: 876 live + 162 dead

New Boston

Three people smile while wearing reflective vests and headlamps, and standing outside on a rainy night. (photo © Jen Boisvert)

The New Boston crew takes amphibian crossing very, very seriously. (photo © Jen Boisvert)

Middle Branch and Tucker Mill Roads. A dynamic duo spent one night exploring this new-to-us crossing, where they provided safe passage for 6 red-backed salamanders, 20 wood frogs (+12 dead), and 6 spring peepers.
Total: 32 live + 12 dead

Old Coach Road. Ten valiant volunteers spent two nights on patrol at Old Coach Road, collectively crossing 34 spotted salamanders (+5 dead), 3 four-toed salamanders, 15 wood frogs (+6 dead), 7 spring peepers (+6 dead), and 1 American toad.
Total: 60 live + 17 dead

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. Over the course of five nights, a frog-loving family of three crossed 4 spotted salamanders, 37 wood frogs (+17 dead), 25 spring peepers (+4 dead), 5 pickerel frogs, 1 bullfrog, and 6 American toads. They also recorded 10 unidentified dead. Congratulations to Sawyer — Thayer Road’s newest Crossing Brigadier — on finally being old enough to stay up for Big Night!
Total: 78 live + 31 dead

Peterborough

A person wearing a reflective vest holds out their hand, with a very tiny gray tree frog perched on the tip of their pointer finger. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

The tiniest, sweetest, cutest, dearest, most adorable gray tree frog in the world (objectively speaking, of course…)
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Summer Street. The dedicated Summer Street crew— 28 Brigadiers strong! — spent an impressive seven nights on patrol, providing safe passage for 62 spotted salamanders (+6 dead), 2 Eastern newts (+2 dead), 3 red-backed salamanders, 96 wood frogs (+12 dead), 347 spring peepers (+41 dead), 3 gray tree frogs, 5 green frogs (+2 dead), 1 bullfrog, and 5 American toads. They also recorded one unidentified roadkill. A special shout-out to the salamander lover working dispatch for the Peterborough Police Department, and to Officer Martin for spending some time on patrol with our volunteers this spring — and heartfelt thanks, as always, to the Peterborough Conservation Commission and Peterborough DPW for the official “Salamander Crossing” and “Volunteers Ahead” road signs they provide for this site!
Total: 524 live + 64 dead

Rindge

A wood frog sitting in the palm of someone's hand, with a flashlight beam directed at it. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

After years of being in the spotlight, wood frogs have become quite patient with the paparazzi. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Old New Ipswich Road. In one night on Old Ipswich Road, a lone Rindge Ranger crossed 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), 1 red-backed salamander, 2 wood frogs (+4 dead), 4 spring peepers (+4 dead), 1 bullfrog, 1 American toad, and 2 amphibians of unknown species (+1 dead).
Total: 12 live + 10 dead

Perry Road. A new Brigadier spent one night on patrol at Perry Road, where she crossed 9 wood frogs (+3 dead) and 19 spring peepers (+8 dead) in just under two hours. The Rindge Police stopped to check on her, and “had a good laugh when I explained what I was doing…[then] asked if I needed anything, offering to get me hand warmers from his car.” We’re grateful that our local police departments are so supportive of the Salamander Brigades!
Total: 28 live + 11 dead

Sullivan

Valley Road. Over the course of four nights on Valley Road, a solo salamander shepherd crossed 10 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 6 red-backed salamanders (+2 dead), 24 wood frogs (+12 dead), 59 spring peepers (+20 dead), and 2 American toads.
Total: 101 live + 37 dead

Swanzey

A spotted salamander smiles as it pauses on a swath of pavement. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

The dearest of the dear.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Eaton Road. Two Brigadiers made quick passes through Eaton Road on three separate nights, crossing 7 wood frogs (+4 dead), 3 spring peepers (+3 dead), and 2 gray tree frogs, and recording 1 dead Eastern newt.
Total: 12 live + 8 dead

Matthews Road. Four amphibian admirers conducted brief surveys on two nights at Matthews Road, providing safe passage for 5 spotted salamanders (+3 dead) and 4 wood frogs. These numbers do not reflect the fullness of amphibian activity at this site, which is often quite busy with both cars and critters. This site needs more help in 2025!
Total: 9 live + 3 dead

Swanzey Lake Road. Over the course of five evenings, nine dedicated Brigadiers crossed 74 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 3 four-toed salamanders, 1 two-lined salamander (+1 dead), 4 red-backed salamanders (+2 dead), 4 wood frogs (+6 dead), 31 spring peepers (+3 dead), 1 pickerel frog, 1 gray tree frog, and 1 American toad (+1 dead). They also noted 1 unidentified roadkill. This site needs more help in 2025!
Total: 120 live + 17 dead

Westmoreland

A view into a bucket containing many spotted salamanders. (photo © Stephen Lowe)

Some people look to crocuses or red-winged blackbirds as the first sign of spring. For us, it’s not truly spring until the Glebe Road crossing crew is ferrying salamanders across the road by the bucketful. (photo © Stephen Lowe)

Glebe Road. The dedicated Glebe Road crew — a whopping 54 Brigadiers strong! — spent seven nights on patrol, collectively crossing 353 spotted salamanders (+21 dead), 32 Eastern newts (+34 dead), 2 four-toed salamanders, 1 two-lined salamander, 24 red-backed salamanders, 518 spring peepers (+121 dead), 22 pickerel frogs (+2 dead), 17 green frogs, 19 bullfrogs, 11 American toads, and 1 unidentified amphibian. Special thanks to Stephen and Carter Lowe, who not only spent many nights on the salamander beat but also conducted a roadside cleanup so the salamanders wouldn’t have to tiptoe past beer cans on their way to the wetland. Despite the impressive numbers, there were some nights at this site when there were simply too many salamanders to count and carry — even with buckets! — so this site could use more help in 2025!
Total: 990 live + 178 dead

River Road. Two busy Brigadiers spent one night on patrol, crossing 59 spotted salamanders, 1 Eastern newt, 12 red-backed salamanders, 2 unidentified salamanders, 2 wood frogs, 50 spring peepers, 3 pickerel frogs, 1 green frog, 5 bullfrogs, 5 American toads, and 1 unknown frog.
Total: 141 live

Wilton

A woman and a teenage girl pose for a nighttime selfie while wearing reflective vests. (photo © LaNeia Thomas)

Further evidence — did you need any? — that salamanders make people smile.
(photo © LaNeia Thomas)

Whiting Hill Road. Over the course of seven nights, the dedicated Wilton crossing crew — 12 Brigadiers strong! — provided safe passage for 37 spotted salamanders (+4 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 4 red-backed salamanders (+1 dead), 9 wood frogs, 174 spring peepers (+36 dead), 10 pickerel frogs, 15 green frogs (+1 dead), 1 American toad, and 1 unidentified live amphibian (+1 dead).
Total: 252 live + 43 dead

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. The enthusiastic Winchester crew — a heartwarming 23 Brigadiers strong — spent seven nights on patrol, providing safe passage for 33 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 7 Eastern newts (+20 dead), 95 four-toed salamanders (!!) (+11 dead), 1 two-lined salamander, 13 red-backed salamanders (+1 dead), 2 wood frogs, 162 spring peepers (+29 dead), 2 pickerel frogs, 1 green frog, and 16 American toads. They also recorded 1 unidentified dead amphibian.
Total: 104 live + 35 dead

A Note of Gratitude

Two young women in reflective vests stand behind a sign that says, "Caution! Salamander Crossing" (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Salamander Crossing Brigade interns Taylor Jackson (left) and Veronia Kroha (right) on the first of many late nights on the salamander beat in Keene.  (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Thank you to one and all. What you’ve done this spring is more than science. It’s an act of love, and of heroism, repeated rainy night after rainy night. Your care for our fellow creatures is an inspiration, moving brightly through the night. We can’t wait to do it all over again in 2025!

Special thanks to Harris Center staff ecologist Nate Marchessault for many late nights on the salamander beat, and for his essential help with data management, gear organization, and myriad other behind-the-scenes tasks; to interns Taylor Jackson and Veronica Kroha (pictured) for coming in clutch at North Lincoln Street; to the Keene Department of Public Works for their enthusiastic support of the Big Night detours at North Lincoln Street and Jordan Road; and to Site Coordinators Cathleen Calmer, Lindsay Carter, Donna Crane, Cheri Domina, Nicole Forsyth, Kathy Huston, Liza & Stephen Lowe, Kara Reynolds, Gabe Roxby, Kathy Schillemat, Sarah Thomas, Sarah Wilson, and Jenny & Beckley Wooster for being such a welcoming presence on the roads (and sometimes the only presence on the road…) We simply couldn’t do it without you.

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May 8, 2024

A Toady Postscript

A toad pauses on the yellow centerline of a paved road. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Grumpy, yet endearing. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Surprise rain moved through the Monadnock Region at sunset on May 8. Hoping to surpass the 7,500-mark for amphibian rescues this spring, four intrepid Crossing Brigadiers headed out in search of toads and other warm-weather amphibians. Collectively, they crossed 295 live amphibians at 4 crossing sites on Wednesday, bringing our season total to (drum roll, please…) 7,536 crossed critters! Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Harrisville

Breed & Nelson Road at Childs Bog. In a little more than an hour, a dedicated duo provided safe passage for 1 Eastern newt, 4 two-lined salamanders, 2 red-backed salamanders, 19 spring peepers (+1 dead), 2 pickerel frogs, 7 green frogs, 1 bullfrog, and 75 American toads, 111 live amphibians (+1 dead) in all. They also found one live Northern water snake and one dead painted turtle hatchling. For a while, they were supervised by a bobcat, watching quietly from the nearby woods.

Nelson

A Northern water snake slithers across a paved road, next to a white painted line. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

This water snake crossed itself, thank you very much.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Nelson Road. A solo salamander superhero spent an hour on patrol, crossing 1 spotted salamander, 6 Eastern newts (+13 dead), 2 two-lined salamanders, 2 red-backed salamanders, 13 wood frogs (+7 dead), 134 spring peepers (+5 dead), 2 pickerel frogs, and 15 American toads, for a total of 175 live amphibians (+25 dead).

Swanzey

Eaton Road. On their way to another crossing site, a terrific twosome stopped to cross 2 gray tree frogs.

Swanzey Lake Road. That same pair spent 50 minutes on patrol at Swanzey Lake Road, where they crossed 3 red-backed salamanders (+2 dead), 3 spring peepers (+3 dead), and 1 American toad, 7 live amphibians (+5 dead) in all.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from May 8? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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May 5, 2024

A Small Night At Season’s End…

A close-up of a spotted salamander, held in a person's hand. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

You can find a larger version of this and many more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Cinco de Mayo saw steady rain and temperatures in the mid- to upper 40s, but there was only a trickle of movement at most sites — a sign that salamander season is coming to a close. Even so, 16 dedicated Crossing Brigadiers provided safe passage for 406 individual amphibians at 5 different crossing sites on May 5, bringing our season total to an impressive 7,236 crossed critters. Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Keene

North Lincoln Street. North Lincoln Street was closed to traffic for the last time this spring, and 8 amphibian aficionados were on hand from 8:30 to 10:15 p.m. to savor one last night on the salamander beat. Together, they counted 4 spotted salamanders, 3 red-backed salamanders, 8 wood frogs, 141 spring peepers (+2 dead), and 2 gray tree frogs, and found 1 dead newt, for a total of 158 amphibians (+3 dead). All of the wood frogs and spotties were leaving the wetland, as were half of the peepers.

Henniker

A ground-level view of a bright orange salamander, walking along a paved road. (photo © Nate Marchessault)

Erythristic red-backed salamanders — a somewhat unusual color moroph — lack a characteristic red stripe down their back, and are instead orange all the way around. (photo © Nate Marchessault)

River Road. One frog fan spent nearly two hours on patrol, crossing 8 spotted salamanders, 2 Jefferson complex salamanders, 1 Eastern newt, 4 red-backed salamanders, 13 wood frogs, 21 spring peepers (+2 dead), 2 pickerel frogs, 3 gray tree frogs, 4 green frogs (+1 dead), and 2 American toads (+1 dead), 60 live amphibians (+4 dead) in all. He also saw a polyphemus caterpillar!

Nelson

Nelson Road. Four amphibian-loving Antiochians crossed 23 spotted salamanders, 5 Eastern newts (+1 dead), 9 two-lined salamanders (!), 9 red-backed salamanders, 4 wood frogs (+3 dead), 93 spring peepers (+20 dead), 2 green frogs, and 2 American toads, for a total of 147 live amphibians (+24 dead) in two hours.

Peterborough

A young man wearing a reflective vest smiles while crouching down on a road and holding a wood frog in his hands. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Even Small Nights bring salamander (& frog) joy.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Summer Street. A dynamic duo provided safe passage for 8 spotted salamanders, 5 wood frogs (+1 dead), 13 spring peepers (+6 dead), 3 gray tree frogs, and 3 American toads, and recorded 1 dead green frog and 1 dead newt, for a total of 32 live amphibians (+9 dead) over the course of two and a half hours.

Swanzey

Swanzey Lake Road. A solo salamander shepherd walked Swanzey Lake Road from 8:45 to 9:15 p.m., crossing 1 spotted salamander, 1 red-backed salamander, 6 spring peepers, and 1 gray tree frog, and recording 1 dead American toad, 9 live amphibians (+1 dead) in all.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from May 5? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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April 30, 2024

The Season Slows…

A person wearing a reflective vest holds out their hand, with a very tiny gray tree frog perched on the tip of their pointer finger. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

The tiniest, sweetest, cutest, dearest, most adorable frog in the world. You can find a larger version of this and many more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

April 30 brought light rain and 50-degree temperatures — perfect conditions for a Big Night, had they taken place earlier in the month. This late in the season, it was a quieter evening, but some amphibians were still afoot! Wood frogs were migrating back to the woods, gray tree frogs were heading toward their breeding wetlands, and spring peepers, spotted salamanders, and American toads were moving in both directions.

As always, our Crossing Brigadiers were there to lend a helping hand, with 27 dedicated volunteers providing safe passage for 468 individual amphibians at 6 crossing sites throughout the Monadnock Region. This brings our season total to 6,830 crossed critters. Will we reach 7,000 before all is said and done?

Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Keene

A person wearing a reflective vest smiles down at a spotted salamander they are holding in their hands. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Overheard on North Lincoln Street:
“This is bringing me so much joy right now.”
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Jordan Road. Jordan Road was closed to through-traffic for what will likely be the last time this spring, and three dedicated Brigadiers were on hand from 8 to 10:20 p.m. to ensure safe passage for the critters that had to contend with 18 passing cars. Collectively, the Jordan Road crew crossed 3 spotted salamanders, 17 red-backed salamanders, 1 wood frog, 7 spring peepers, 3 gray tree frogs, and 1 green frog — 32 live amphibians in all. There was no roadkill. Huzzah!

North Lincoln Street. Big Night detours were also in place at North Lincoln Street, where 16 enthusiastic volunteers enjoyed an unexpectedly busy evening. From 8:15 to 11:15 p.m., they counted 16 spotted salamanders, 2 Eastern newts (+ 1 dead, from before the road was closed for the night), 1 two-lined salamander, 3 red-backed salamanders, 50 wood frogs, 199 spring peepers, 4 gray tree frogs, and 1 sizeable American toad, for a total of 276 amphibians (+1 dead). All of the wood frogs were leaving the wetland, as were two-thirds of the peepers and half of the spotties. Early in the evening, a skunk and a raccoon crossed themselves, and a Barred Owl serenaded several appreciative Brigadiers from a roadside pine.

Henniker

An outstretched hand holding a small Jefferson complex salamander. (photo © Kara Reynolds)

The guest of honor at River Road!
(photo © Kara Reynolds)

River Road. A terrific trio spent two hours on patrol, crossing 12 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 1 Jefferson complex salamander, 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), 12 red-backed salamanders, 2 wood frogs, and 6 spring peepers (+1 dead), and recording 1 dead gray tree frog, for a total of 34 live amphibians (+5 dead). Sadly, they also discovered 1 roadkilled painted turtle hatchling. On a more promising note, most of the spotties were quite small — the next generation of salamanders, stepping hopefully into the night…

Nelson

Nelson Road. On her way home from another crossing site, a solo Brigadier drove slowly along Nelson Road, stopping to cross 15 spotted salamanders (+2 dead) and 3 American toads, and noting 1 dead wood frog, 18 live amphibians (+3 dead) in all. She was too tired to stop for the spring peepers, which easily numbered in the hundreds.

Peterborough

A ground-level view of a spring peeper, paused in the middle of a road. (photo © Nate Marchessault)

According to the new book Wildlife Out Your Window, peepers are known as “pinkletinks” on Martha’s Vineyard, “tinkletoes” in New Brunswick, and “pink-winks” in some parts of Nova Scotia. Who knew? (photo © Nate Marchessault)

Summer Street. A dedicated quartet provided safe passage for 27 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), 3 red-backed salamanders, 2 wood frogs, 26 spring peepers (+14 dead), 3 green frogs, and 1 bullfrog, for a total of 63 live amphibians (+16 dead) between 8 and 10:30 p.m. They also saw a raccoon heading toward the pools, perhaps in search of a late-night snack.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. One valiant volunteer spent an hour on patrol at Glebe Road, where he crossed 1 Eastern newt, 1 two-lined salamander, 37 spring peepers (+2 dead), 1 pickerel frog, and 5 American toads, 45 live amphibians (+2 dead) in all. This qualifies as a Small Night for Glebe Road, where amphibian action seems to be winding down for the year.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from April 30? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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April 14, 2024

The Peeper Parade Continues…

A group of people gather around someone who is holding a spotted salamander in their hands. (photo © Chloe March)

April 14 was primarily a peeper party, but spotted salamanders made a few (very popular) guest appearances. You can find a larger version of this and many more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Chloe March)

Light rain and temperatures in the mid-40s got the peeper party started on April 14, but other species were fewer and far-er between. Our guess is that we’re now at the slack tide of the season — that is, that the majority of early-season amphibians migrated in last week’s back-to-back-to-back Big Nights and weren’t quite ready to leave their breeding wetlands by the time Sunday rolled around. Temperatures also weren’t quite balmy enough to spur American toads, gray tree frogs, and other warm-weather amphibians to action in any great numbers. Still, 21 intrepid Crossing Brigadiers shepherded 698 amphibians to safety — and recorded 101 roadkills — at 8 crossing sites on Sunday night, bringing our season total to a very respectable 6,304 crossed critters. Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Keene

Jordan Road. A hopeful team of two patrolled Jordan Road for more than two hours, but only found 1 wood frog and 2 spring peepers, 3 live frogs in all. The good news is that there was no roadkill!

North Lincoln Street. Eight amphibian admirers spent two hours on patrol at North Lincoln Street, where they crossed 3 spotted salamanders, 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), 2 wood frogs, and 239 spring peepers (+23 dead), for a total of 245 live amphibians (+24 dead). They also found one roadkilled garter snake. The vast majority of peepers were heading back to the woods, their courtship and egg-laying over for the year — and a sign that the season might be starting to wind down at this site — but there were still plenty of peepers screaming (we mean, singing…) in the wetland.

Nelson

A woman in a reflective vest lays down on the pavement, with her hands and head looking up, impersonating the spotted salamander who is standing next to her on the road. (photo © Sarah Wilson)

Sarah Wilson does her best impersonation of a spotted salamander. We think it’s a pretty good likeness! Now if only we could get the salamanders to wear headlamps and reflective vests…
(photo © Elizabeth Irvine)

Granite Lake Road. One frog fan provided safe passage for 2 Eastern newts (+6 dead), 1 wood frog, and 10 spring peepers (+1 dead) — 13 live amphibians (+7 dead) in all — before heading over to lend a hand at Nelson Road, which was hopping.

Nelson Road. Three dedicated salamander shepherds patrolled two different sections of Nelson Road from 9 to 10:30 p.m., collectively crossing 13 spotted salamanders, 2 Eastern newts (+1 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 2 red-backed salamanders, 12 wood frogs (+3 dead), and 288 spring peepers (+42 dead), for a total of 318 live amphibians (+46 dead). Just east of this crossing, another Brigadier was heading home for the night when she saw a Barred Owl fly low across the road with a wood frog in its mouth!

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. A terrific twosome crossed 1 wood frog, 4 pickerel frogs, 1 bullfrog, and 3 American toads, and found 5 dead frogs of unknown species, for a total of 9 live frogs (+5 dead) in 40 minutes.

Rindge

Old New Ipswich Road. A lone Rindge Ranger spent a half-hour on patrol, providing safe passage for 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders, 2 salamanders of unknown species, 2 wood frogs (+4 dead), 4 spring peepers (+4 dead), 1 bullfrog, and 1 American toad, 12 live amphibians (+10 dead) in all.

A young man wearing a reflective vest smiles while recording data on a small data sheet. (photo © TaylorJackson)

Sometimes peepers are so polite that they wait patiently on your knuckle to be tallied before proceeding to the wetland.
(photo © Taylor Jackson)

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. Two persevering peeper protectors crossed 11 spotted salamanders, 4 Eastern newts (+2 dead), 57 spring peepers (+6 dead), 1 bullfrog, and 2 American toads, for a total of 75 live amphibians (+8 dead) in an hour and a half.

Wilton

Whiting Hill Road. A terrific trio patrolled Carnival Hill for an hour and a half, providing safe passage for 1 spotted salamander, 18 spring peepers (+1 dead), 3 pickerel frogs, and 1 green frog, 23 live amphibians (+1 dead) in all.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from April 14? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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April 12, 2024

A Triple-Header!

Two women wearing reflective vests and headlamps smile for a selfie with a spotted salamander. (photo © Sarah Wilson)

If one salamander selfie just isn’t enough, you can find more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Sarah Wilson)

The migration continued on April 12 — under starry skies (!) — on ground still wet from rain earlier in the day. In most places, salamander movement was modest, but the peeper parade was undeterred by the lack of precipitation. For the third night in a row, our valiant volunteers took to the streets, with 42 Crossing Brigadiers providing safe passage for 553 live amphibians — and recording 127 roadkills — at 9 different sites. This brings our season total to 5,606 crossed critters and counting…

Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Francestown

Route 47. A dedicated duo provided safe passage for 22 spotted salamanders, 1 Eastern newt, 1 four-toed salamander, 10 wood frogs, and 29 spring peepers, for a total of 63 live amphibians in just one hour. Sadly, they also noted many roadkilled amphibians, “probably as many or more than we helped across, but we were too overwhelmed to count them as well.” This site could use more help on future migration nights.

Hancock

Middle Road. One frog fan crossed 3 wood frogs in 40 minutes on Middle Road. All of the frogs were headed back to the woods, their breeding and courtship done for the year.

Harrisville

Two hands holding a spotted salamander. (photo © Megan Jacobs)

My, what beautiful spots you have!
(photo © Megan Jacobs)

Breed Road at Child’s Bog. A longtime Brigadier took a stroll down by the Bog, where she crossed 2 spotted salamanders, 1 two-lined salamander, 1 red-backed salamander, 1 wood frog, 1 spring peeper, 2 green frogs, 1 bullfrog, and 1 American toad, and counted 6 dead Eastern newts, for a total of 10 live amphibians (+6 dead) of 8 different species in just 30 minutes. Impressive diversity for such a short time on the road! Sadly, she also discovered 1 roadkilled painted turtle hatchling.

Hillsboro

Concord End and Flint Roads. Over the course of one hour at Concord End and Flint Roads, a dynamic duo crossed 1 spotted salamander, 4 Eastern newts (+1 dead), 1 two-lined salamander, 1 red-backed salamander, 4 wood frogs, 9 spring peepers, and 1 green frog, 21 live amphibians (+1 dead) in all.

Nelson

Granite Lake Road. A longtime Brigadier spent an hour and a half on patrol near the Nelson School, where she crossed 1 spotted salamander, 38 spring peepers (+21 dead), 1 pickerel frog, and 2 green frogs, and found 1 dead wood frog and 7 dead newts, for a total of 42 live amphibians (+29 dead). She was serenaded by wood frogs and spring peepers, and said that “the sky looked amazing with the crescent moon.”

Nelson Road. Four Brigadiers patrolled two different sections of Nelson Road for one hour, collectively crossing 2 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 1 Eastern newt, 2 wood frogs, 84 spring peepers (+30 dead), and 1 green frog, and noting 1 dead pickerel frog, 90 live amphibians (+33 dead) in all. Sadly, the roadkill numbers do not tell the full story, as there was more carnage than could be counted along one particularly busy stretch of road. This site could use more help on future migration nights.

Peterborough

A girl smiles at a spotted salamander that she is holding in her hands. (photo © Lindsay Carter)

Summer Street almost went all night without a spottie, until this beauty strolled out around 9:30 p.m. (photo © Lindsay Carter)

Summer Street. The Summer Street crew — an impressive 20 Brigadiers strong! — spent more than two hours on the frog beat, crossing 1 spotted salamander, 28 wood frogs (+2 dead), 118 spring peepers (+14 dead), and 2 green frogs (+1 dead), and noting 1 unidentified roadkill, for a total of 149 live amphibians (+18 dead).

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. The Glebe Road crossing crew — 10 Brigadiers in all — provided safe passage for 3 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 3 Eastern newts (+5 dead), 148 spring peepers (+31 dead), and 12 pickerel frogs, for a total of 166 live amphibians (+37 dead) in an hour and a half on patrol.

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. A terrific twosome spent one hour on the salamander beat at Forest Lake Road, where they crossed 1 Eastern newt (+3 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, and 7 spring peepers, 9 live amphibians (+3 dead) in all. They reported that the peeper’s song was strong that night!

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from April 12? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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April 11, 2024

Big Night, Part II

A spotted salamander smiles as it pauses on a swath of pavement. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

What a charmer!
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Wednesday’s migration continued into Thursday, though Thursday night’s rain didn’t really start to pick up until after 9:30 p.m. Spotted salamander movement was more modest than the night before, but four-toed salamanders, red-backed salamanders, and spring peepers made impressive showings — as did our Salamander Crossing Brigades! All told, 141 Crossing Brigadiers took to the streets on Thursday night, providing safe passage for 2,146 individual amphibians of 14 different species — and recording 316 roadkills — at 22 crossing sites throughout southwest New Hampshire, bringing our season total to 5,053 crossed critters. We also received reports from 5 additional sites in the Lakes Region, Seacoast, and Upper Valley.

Read on for site-by-site details from the Monadnock Region, listed alphabetically by town:

Concord

A young woman wearing a reflective vest and handlamp smiles while holding a spotted salamander in her hands. (photo © Chloe March)

It’s an incontrovertible fact that salamanders make people smile. (photo © Chloe March)

Fisk Road. A dedicated solo Brigadier spent an impressive four hours on patrol, but only encountered 2 spotted salamanders (+1 dead) and 2 spring peepers, 4 live amphibians (+1 dead) in all. He reported that he kept tabs on one of those spotted salamanders for 1.5 hrs as it traveled just 150 feet along the road shoulder; eventually, he relocated the wandering salamander deeper into the woods at 11:38 p.m. and called it a night!

Dublin

Upper Jaffrey Road. A dynamic duo spent three hours on patrol near the Learned Road wetland, where they provided safe passage for 23 spotted salamanders, 3 red-backed salamanders, 11 wood frogs, and 13 spring peepers (+5 dead), exactly 50 live amphibians (+5 dead) in all.

Hancock

Route 137. A sweet mother-son team crossed 1 Eastern newt (+3 dead), 1 red-backed salamander (+2 dead), and 25 spring peepers (+22 dead), and recorded 1 dead spotted salamander and 1 dead wood frog, for a total of 27 live amphibians (+29 dead) in 40 minutes along Route 137. This site could use more help on future migration nights.

Harrisville

Hancock Road. A solo salamander shepherd spent an hour on patrol at Hancock Road, where she provided safe passage for 3 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 2 wood frogs (+5 dead), 12 spring peepers (+2 dead), and 1 green frog, and recorded 2 dead red-backed salamanders, 1 dead pickerel frog, and 5 unknown roadkills, for a total of 18 live amphibians (+17 dead). This site could use more help on future migration nights.

Henniker

A group of children in brightly colored raincoats and hats gathers in a circle around a spotted salamander, who is sitting in one of their outstretched hands. (photo © Kara Reynolds)

The youth delegation at River Road. (photo © Kara Reynolds)

Old West Hopkinton Road. A dynamic duo spent nearly two hours at Old West Hopkinton Road, where they crossed 2 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 10 red-backed salamanders (+4 dead), 1 wood frog, 23 spring peepers (+7 dead), 1 pickerel frog, 1 green frog, and 1 American toad, and recorded 1 dead Eastern newt — 39 live amphibians (+13 dead) in all.

River Road. The River Road crossing crew — 10 Brigadiers strong! — spent nearly three hours on the salamander beat, crossing 10 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 11 red-backed salamanders (+1 dead), 13 wood frogs (+1 dead), 62 spring peepers (+4 dead), 4 pickerel frogs, 2 green frogs, and 1 American toad, and recording 1 dead Eastern newt, for a total of 103 live amphibians (+9 dead). They would also like to note for the record that they saw a slug.

Hillsboro

Concord End and Flint Roads. In a little more than an hour of searching, a terrific twosome crossed an impressive 24 spotted salamanders, 1 red-backed salamander, 13 spring peepers (+1 dead), and 1 pickerel frog, 39 live amphibians (+1 dead) in all.

Keene

A young man wearing a reflective vest smiles while looking at a spotted salamander in his hands. (photo © Chloe March)

Big thanks to the KSC Eco-Reps for helping out with back-to-back migrations at the Keene crossings on April 10 and 11! The salamanders and frogs thank you too. (photo © Chloe March)

Arch Street. One longtime Brigadier spent two hours patrolling Arch Street from Archway Farm to the junction with Felt Road, where he provided safe passage for 10 wood frogs (+1 dead), 1o spring peepers (+2 dead), and 15 American toads (+3 dead), and noted 1 dead spotted salamander, for a total of 35 live amphibians (+7 dead).

Jordan Road. Jordan Road was closed to through-traffic again on Thursday night, with 11 dedicated Brigadiers on hand from 7:30 until 10:45 p.m. to ensure safe passage for the critters that had to dodge local traffic. Collectively, they crossed 30 spotted salamanders, 2 Jefferson complex salamanders, 2 two-lined salamanders, 24 red-backed salamanders (+2 dead), 3 wood frogs, 35 spring peepers (+2 dead), and 3 American toads, and recorded 1 dead Eastern newt — 99 live amphibians (+5 dead) in all.

North Lincoln Street. Big Night detours were also in place at North Lincoln Street on Thursday, where a hearty crew of approximately 40 volunteers and visitors came out to enjoy the magic of the migration. From 7:45 to 11:15 p.m., they counted 11 spotted salamanders, 11 Eastern newts (+ 18 dead, from before the road was closed for the night), 2 red-backed salamanders, 16 wood frogs, 485 spring peepers (+4 dead), and 4 bullfrogs, for a total of 529 amphibians (+22 dead).

Route 10. Two brave Brigadiers spent an hour on busy Route 10, near the Keene-Gilsum line, where they crossed 2 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 2 four-toed salamanders, 5 wood frogs, 94 spring peepers, 3 pickerel frogs, 6 green frogs, and 1 bullfrog, for a total of 113 live amphibians (+3 dead). Their roadkill count is a significant underestimate, as there were “too many dead to get an accurate count” and they were focusing their efforts on helping the living. Heavy, fast-moving traffic makes this a very tough site.

Marlborough

Two hands holding a spotted salamander. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

You can never have too many pictures of spotted salamanders. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Jaffrey Road. A family of frog fans crossed 4 wood frogs (+3 dead), 1 spring peeper, and 1 American toad, and recorded 2 unknown dead, for a total of 6 live amphibians (+5 dead) in 30 minutes of searching.

Nelson

Granite Lake Road. A night owl conducted a late-night patrol from 12:26 to 1:04 a.m. (!), crossing 5 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders (+3 dead), and 48 spring peepers (+19 dead), and noting 2 dead wood frogs, 55 live amphibians (+27 dead) in all.

Nelson Road. A stalwart salamander superhero patrolled Nelson Road from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., and a second Brigadier did a late-night sweep on her way home from another crossing site just before midnight. Together, they crossed 32 spotted salamanders (+6 dead), 7 wood frogs (+9 dead), 56 spring peepers (+13 dead), 4 pickerel frogs, and 2 green frogs (+1 dead), and noted 1 dead Eastern newt, for a total of 101 live amphibians (+30 dead). Also of note: the first-shift Brigadier saw an otter cross the road into an area full of wood frogs and reported, “They had been silent all night, but the otter’s presence made them very noisy and croaky!”

New Ipswich

A Jefferson complex salamander walking across pavement, with boots in the background. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Jefferson complex salamanders are pretty great, too.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Thayer Road. A solo Brigadier made a quick pass along Thayer Road, where she crossed 1 spring peeper and 2 American toads, for a total of 3 live frogs in just 15 minutes. She said, “Boy are the wood frogs screaming now!”

Peterborough

Summer Street. The Summer Street crew — an impressive 24 Brigadiers strong! — provided safe passage for 6 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 1 Eastern newt, 27 wood frogs, 80 spring peepers, and 1 American toad, for a total of 115 live amphibians (+1 dead) in two hours.

Sullivan

Valley Road. One valiant volunteer spent an impressive four hours on patrol along Valley Road, crossing 10 spotted salamanders (+3 dead), 6 red-backed salamanders (+2 dead), 15 wood frogs (+10 dead), 59 spring peepers (+20 dead), and 2 American toads, 92 live amphibians (+35 dead) in all.

Swanzey

Swanzey Lake Road. In one hour, two Brigadiers provided safe passage for 9 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 3 four-toed salamanders, 1 two-lined salamander (+1 dead), and 15 spring peepers, and recorded 2 unknown roadkills, for a total of 28 live amphibians (+4 dead).

Westmoreland

A spotted salamander with almost no spots. (photo © Stephen Lowe)

A most unusual spot pattern — or should we say lack-of-spots pattern? — encountered at Glebe Road on April 11.
(photo © Stephen Lowe)

Glebe Road. The Glebe Road crossing crew — 16 Brigadiers strong! — crossed 37 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 4 Eastern newts (+9 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 8 red-backed salamanders, 169 spring peepers (+42 dead), 3 pickerel frogs, 4 green frogs, 8 bullfrogs, and 4 American toads, for a grand total of 238 live amphibians (+53 dead) in just under three hours. Special thanks to Stephen and Carter Lowe, who went back the next morning to do a roadside cleanup, so the salamanders won’t have to tiptoe past beer cans on their way out of the wetland in another week or two!

River Road. The season’s first report from River Road was an impressive one: two busy Brigadiers spent nearly three hours on patrol, crossing 59 spotted salamanders, 1 Eastern newt, 12 red-backed salamanders, 2 unidentified salamanders, 2 wood frogs, 50 spring peepers, 3 pickerel frogs, 1 green frog, 5 bullfrogs, 5 American toads, and 1 unknown frog, 141 live amphibians in all.

Wilton

Whiting Hill Road. A dedicated quartet spent three hours on patrol at Carnival Hill, where they provided safe passage for 20 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 4 red-backed salamanders (+1 dead), 106 spring peepers (+24 dead), 6 pickerel frogs, and 10 green frogs (+1 dead), and recorded 1 unknown live amphibian (+1 unknown dead), 148 live amphibians (+28 dead) in all.

Winchester

Two very small four-toed salamanders, sitting on a fingertip against a backdrop of an amphibian ID sheet. (photo © Beckley Wooster)

Wait a second! You’re not bullfrogs. You’re very tiny, extremely adorable, juvenile four-toed salamanders, found hanging with the big kids at Forest Lake Road on April 11. (photo © Beckley Wooster)

Forest Lake Road. The Winchester crossing crew — a robust 13 Brigadiers strong! — crossed 11 spotted salamanders, 3 Eastern newts (+7 dead), 42 four-toed salamanders (+1 dead), 1 two-lined salamander, 7 red-backed salamanders, 88 spring peepers (+10 dead), 1 pickerel frog, and 10 American toads, and noted 1 unknown roadkill, for a total of 163 live amphibians (+19 dead) in just an hour and a half.

Further Afield…

Many thanks to the folks from Barrington, Center Harbor, Strafford, Tamworth, and Hartford, VT for investigating additional sites — and crossing hundreds of additional critters — outside the Monadnock Region!

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from April 11? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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April 10, 2024

Big Night, Part I

A spotted salamander curling up in a person's hand. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Our Crossing Brigades provided safe passage for 503 spotted salamanders — including this one — on the Big Night of April 10. You can see more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

It barely rained on April 10, but after several very warm days, a short burst of evening rain followed by a light mist was all it took to spur salamanders to action! At a number of sites, it was our first true Big Night of the year. Collectively, 52 Crossing Brigadiers were kept very busy on Wednesday night, providing safe passage for 1,492 individual amphibians of 11 different species — and recording 323 roadkills — at 15 crossing sites. Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Chesterfield

Old Swanzey Road. A solo salamander savior interrupted her evening commute to cross 9 spotted salamanders (+10 dead), 3 red-backed salamanders (+3 dead), 2 wood frogs (+4 dead), 6 spring peepers (+6 dead), and 1 American toad, for a total of 21 live amphibians (+23 dead) in just 30 minutes on Old Swanzey Road.

Route 63. The same Brigadier crossed 8 spotted salamanders (+16 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders (+4 dead), 1 wood frog (+5 dead), and 7 spring peepers (+20 dead), for a total of 18 live amphibians (+45 dead) in a single pass along Route 63, between Route 9 and Twin Brook Road.

Concord

Four pictures of the same spotted salamander, taken in four different years. (photos © Andy Chapman)

This spotted salamander was carried across Fisk Road by Crossing Brigadiers in 2020, 2022, 2023, and 2024, as confirmed by pictures of its one-of-a-kind spot pattern! Click on the image to open a larger view. (photos © Andy Chapman)

Fisk Road. A longtime Crossing Brigadier spent an hour and a half on solo patrol, crossing 16 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 1 red-backed salamander, 1 wood frog (+1 dead), and 3 spring peepers (+3 dead), 21 live amphibians (+ 6 dead) in all. He’s been keeping his own spotted salamander spot pattern records for this site, and one of the spotties on April 10 was a four-time repeat visitor!

Hancock

Middle Road. An intrepid solo Brigadier spent an hour and a half on the frog beat at Middle Road, where he provided safe passage for 7 spotted salamanders, 50 wood frogs (+3 dead), and 12 spring peepers (+4 dead), for a total of 69 live amphibians (+7 dead).

Henniker

Old West Hopkinton Road. On her way home from the River Road crossing, one valiant volunteer stumbled upon this new-to-us crossing site, where she moved 6 spotted salamanders to safety (+2 dead) in just 15 minutes.

River Road. A terrific trio crossed 6 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 1 Jefferson complex salamander, 1 Eastern newt (+1 dead), 7 red-backed salamanders, 6 wood frogs, 51 spring peepers (+12 dead), and 1 American toad, for a total of 73 live amphibians (+15 dead) in two hours.

Keene

A young woman wearing a reflective vest smiles at the spring peeper she is holding in her hand. (photo © Chloe March)

Three cheers for the KSC Eco-Reps, who provided safe passage for hundreds of spring peepers — including this one — at North Lincoln Street on the Big Night of April 10! (photo © Chloe March)

Jordan Road. Two bustling Brigadiers spent more than three hours on patrol at Jordan Road, where they crossed a whopping 58 spotted salamanders (+2 dead), 7 Jefferson complex salamanders (+1 dead), 9 red-backed salamanders (+4 dead), 4 wood frogs (+1 dead), and 14 spring peepers (+7 dead) — 92 live amphibians (+15 dead) in all. Big thanks to the courteous drivers who slowed down as they approached the crossing site, and especially to the half-dozen or so who stopped when they saw salamanders in their headlights and patiently waited for our Brigadiers to fetch the sallies before continuing on!

North Lincoln Street. Five fearless Brigadiers patrolled North Lincoln Street for nearly three hours, providing safe passage for 5 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 3 Eastern newts (+4 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders, 2 wood frogs, and 373 spring peepers (+ a dismaying 75 dead), and noting 2 unknown dead, for a total of 385 live amphibians (+82 dead). Had we known it would be this busy, we would certainly have closed the road. Shout out to the KSC Eco-Reps for saving many lives!

Nelson

Nelson Road. A dynamic duo spent 45 minutes on patrol at Nelson Road in the early part of the evening, and a third Brigadier did a late-night sweep on her way home from another crossing. Collectively, they crossed 5 spotted salamanders, 1 red-backed salamander, 4 wood frogs (+2 dead), and 17 spring peepers, for a total of 27 live amphibians. Sadly, scores of dead were discovered — but left uncounted — on the late-night run, after temperatures had warmed a bit with an incoming front.

New Boston

Two people wearing reflective vests crouch down on the road next to a spotted salamander, which is illuminated by the beam of a flashlight. (photo © Amy Unger)

The New Boston crossing crew shines a light on one of their newfound friends. (photo © Amy Unger)

Old Coach Road. The New Boston crew — 8 Brigadiers strong — spent three hours on patrol, providing safe passage for 34 spotted salamanders (+5 dead), 3 four-toed salamanders, 15 wood frogs, and 1 American toad, 53 live amphibians (+5 dead) in all.

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. On his way home from work very late at night, one dedicated Brigadier stopped to moved 4 spotted salamanders (+ noted 1 unknown roadkill) across Thayer Road in just 10 minutes.

Peterborough

Summer Street. Over the course of two hours, a terrific trio crossed 20 spotted salamanders (+4 dead), 18 wood frogs (+8 dead), 87 spring peepers (+1 dead), and 1 ambitious American toad, 126 live amphibians (+13 dead) in all.

Westmoreland

A view into a bucket containing many spotted salamanders. (photo © Stephen Lowe)

It’s not truly spring until the Glebe Road crossing crew is ferrying salamanders by the bucketful. (photo © Stephen Lowe)

Glebe Road. It was an Epic Night at Glebe Road, where 19 busy Brigadiers crossed a jaw-dropping 302 spotted salamanders (+ a disheartening 18 dead), 19 Eastern newts (+11 dead), 1 four-toed salamander, 16 red-backed salamanders, 86 spring peepers (+39 dead), 6 pickerel frogs (+2 dead), 3 green frogs, and 10 bullfrogs, for a grand total of 443 live amphibians (+70 dead) in just under three hours. They noted that these numbers do not fully represent the magnitude of the migration, as there were “way too many spotteds to count” in the early part of the evening.

Wilton

A person wearing a reflective vest and headlamp is smiling while holding a spotted salamander in their hand. (photo © Jenny Wooster)

Salamander smiles were in full force at Forest Lake Road on April 10! (photo © Jenny Wooster)

Whiting Hill Road. A dedicated solo Brigadier spent an hour and a half on patrol at Carnival Hill, where she provided safe passage for 1 spotted salamander, 10 spring peepers (+2 dead), and 1 pickerel frog, 12 live amphibians (+2 dead) in all.

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. Four salamander superheroes crossed 22 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 3 Eastern newts (+10 dead), 39 four-toed salamanders (+5 dead), 3 red-backed salamanders (+1 dead), 1 wood frog, 66 spring peepers (+18 dead), 1 pickerel frog, 1 green frog, and 6 American toads, for a total of 142 live amphibians (+35 dead) in just over two hours.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from April 10? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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March 28, 2024

The Migration Continues (in Some Places…)

A wood frog sitting in the palm of someone's hand, with a flashlight beam directed at it. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Scores of wood frogs continued their march toward spring on March 28, and our Crossing Brigadiers were there to help them on their way. You can see more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

March has been quite the weather whirlwind! At higher-elevation and north-facing sites, there was still enough snow on the ground on the evening of March 28 to keep amphibians nestled in their burrows for at least a little while longer. However, two nights of rain and warmer temperatures set the stage for migration at low-elevation and south-facing sites, and our Crossing Brigades answered the call. Collectively, 37 Crossing Brigadiers took to the streets on Thursday night, providing safe passage for 449 individual amphibians — and recording 20 roadkills — at 8 crossing sites throughout southwest New Hampshire. This brings our season total to a respectable 1,415 crossed critters, and there’s still much more migration to come!

Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Hancock

Route 137. A hopeful family of frog fans spent a half-hour on patrol at Route 137, but with snowy ground and temperatures in the 30s, there were no amphibians to be found.

Keene

Chapman Road. An enthusiastic solo Brigadier scoped out this new-to-us crossing site, providing safe passage for 4 wood frogs in one hour.

A spotted salamander pausing on a Salamander Crossing Brigade data sheet. (photo © Taylor Jackson)

Spotted salamanders made their first appearances of the year in Keene and Swanzey on Thursday — including 64 spotties in a little more than an hour at Swanzey Lake Road! (photo © Taylor Jackson)

Jordan Road. The Harris Center once again worked with the City of Keene to close Jordan Road to through-traffic on March 28, specifically for the protection of migrating amphibians. Although this site was still a little snowy after the weekend winter storm, the Jordan Road crossing crew — 6 dedicated Brigadiers strong — provided safe passage for 1 spotted salamander, 9 Jefferson complex salamanders, 10 wood frogs, and 1 spring peeper, for a total of 21 live amphibians between 7:30 and 10 p.m. Remarkably, they did not encounter any roadkill!

North Lincoln Street. We also worked with the City to close the North Lincoln Street crossing site to vehicles, where 20 smiling volunteers counted 3 spotted salamanders (the first of the season!), 4 Eastern newts (+4 dead, from before the road was closed for the night), 36 wood frogs, and 255 spring peepers (+3 dead), and recorded 1 unknown roadkill, for a total of 298 live amphibians (+8 dead) between 7:30 and 11 p.m. They were serenaded by the season’s first peeper chorus.

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. A family of longtime Crossing Brigadiers spent an hour on patrol at Thayer Road, where they crossed 13 wood frogs (+1 dead) and 3 spring peepers, and recorded one unknown roadkill, 16 live frogs (+2 dead) in all. They reported that, when they left for the night, “the frogs were still on the slow move, onesie-twosie.”

Swanzey

A woman and a teenage girl pose for a nighttime selfie while wearing reflective vests. (photo © LaNeia Thomas)

Salamander smiles at Whiting Hill Road! 
(photo © LaNeia Thomas)

Matthews Road. In just 15 minutes on patrol, a terrific trio crossed 5 spotted salamanders (+3 dead) and 1 wood frog, for a total of 6 live amphibians (+3 dead).

Swanzey Lake Road. A dedicated duo provided safe passage for a whopping 64 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 1 wood frog, 6 spring peepers, and 1 pickerel frog, for a total of 72 live amphibians (+1 dead) in just over an hour.

Wilton

Whiting Hill Road. A sweet mother-daughter team spent more than two hours on patrol at Whiting Hill Road, where they crossed 6 spotted salamanders, 23 spring peepers (+5 dead), 2 green frogs, and 1 American toad, 32 live amphibians (+5 dead) in all.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from March 28? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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March 6, 2024

Frogs Afoot…

A juvenile bullfrog pauses on the yellow centerline of a paved road. (photo © Taylor Jackson)

It’s a frog’s world. We just live in it.
(photo © Taylor Jackson)

Hundreds of frogs — and a few dozen salamanders — continued their march toward spring in warm evening rains on March 6. Collectively, 105 Crossing Brigadiers took to the streets that night as well, providing safe passage for 760 individual amphibians — and recording 193 roadkills — at 17 crossing sites throughout southwest New Hampshire. Although it’s not a record, this is still exceptionally early for an amphibian migration in our neck of the woods. It’s also just the beginning. There’s much more migration yet to come…

Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Concord

Fisk Road. The dedicated Fisk Road crew — 7 Brigadiers strong — spent nearly four hours on patrol, crossing 1 spotted salamander, 1 red-backed salamander, 15 wood frogs (+16 dead), and 20 spring peepers (+19 dead), 37 live amphibians (+ a dismaying 35 dead) in all.

Hancock

A green frog pauses in the middle of a road. (photo © Phil Brown)

March 6 is exceptionally early for green frogs to be out and about in Hancock, NH, but here we are.
(photo © Phil Brown)

Middle Road. A terrific team of 9 Brigadiers spent two hours on patrol at Middle Road, where they crossed 1 red-backed salamander, 8 wood frogs (+2 dead), and 15 spring peepers, for a total of 24 live amphibians (+2 dead).

Route 137. One longtime Brigadier searched Route 137 for nearly an hour, providing safe passage for 12 wood frogs (+5 dead), 6 spring peepers (+12 dead), and 1 green frog, and recording 1 dead red-backed salamander — 19 live amphibians (+18 dead) in all.

Henniker

River Road. The Henniker crew — an impressive 13 Brigadiers strong! — spent a total of three hours on patrol, in two shifts. Collectively, they crossed 1 Jefferson complex salamander, 5 wood frogs, 14 spring peepers (+2 dead), 1 gray tree frog, and 1 American toad. Sadly, they also noted 1 dead spotted salamander and 1 dead amphibian of undetermined species. Their grand total for the night: 22 live amphibians (+4 dead).

Keene

Eastern Avenue. Though she didn’t stop to count, one Crossing Brigadier drove slowly through Eastern Avenue on her way home from another crossing site, and reported some terribly sad wood frog carnage. This site could use more help on future migration nights, though it is not family-friendly.

Two young women in reflective vests stand behind a sign that says, "Caution! Salamander Crossing" (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Special thanks to this year’s Salamander Crossing Brigade interns, Taylor Jackson (left) and Veronia Kroha (right), who have already spent several late nights on the amphibian beat in Keene. You can learn more about them here.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Jordan Road. For the first time this season, the Harris Center worked with the City of Keene to close Jordan Road to through-traffic specifically for the protection of migrating amphibians, an exciting conservation measure years in the making. Between 6 and 10 p.m., the Jordan Road crossing crew — 9 Brigadiers strong — provided safe passage for 24 Jefferson complex salamanders, 2 red-backed salamanders, 25 wood frogs (+3 dead), and 8 spring peepers (+1 dead), 59 live amphibians (+4 dead) in all. The strong showing of Jefferson complex salamanders was especially exciting, as they’re a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New Hampshire.

North Lincoln Street. The Harris Center also worked with the City to close the North Lincoln Street crossing site to vehicles, where 36 enthusiastic volunteers counted 17 Eastern newts (+36 dead, from before the road was closed for the night), 1 red-backed salamander, 97 wood frogs, and 274 spring peepers (+5 dead, just outside the barricades), for a total of 389 live amphibians (+41 dead) between 6:30 and 10 p.m. Frogs were still streaming out of the woods when the last Brigadiers left for the night, so many more probably crossed in the overnight hours behind the safety of the road closure barricades. The annual North Lincoln Street peeper party has officially begun!

Lyndeborough

Cemetery and Putnam Hill Roads. Two frog fans explored this new-to-us crossing site, providing safe passage for 1 red-backed salamander, 2 wood frogs, and 7 spring peepers (+4 dead) and noting 1 dead unidentified frog, for a total of 10 live amphibians (+5 dead) in just under two hours.

Nelson

Three people smile while wearing reflective vests and headlamps, and standing outside on a rainy night. (photo © Jen Boisvert)

Who knew rainy nights could be so much fun?
(We knew. The frogs knew, too.)
(photo © Jen Boisvert)

Granite Lake Road and Nelson Road. Our Site Coordinators scanned both of these locations, but there were no amphibians to be found. It seems that the frogs and salamanders of Nelson are still waiting for the ground to thaw.

New Boston

Middle Branch and Tucker Mill Roads. A dynamic duo explored this new-to-us crossing, where they provided safe passage for 6 red-backed salamanders, 20 wood frogs (+12 dead), and 6 spring peepers, 32 live amphibians (+12 dead) in all.

Old Coach Road. Three enthusiastic Brigadiers (pictured, right) spent 40 minutes on Old Coach Road, crossing 7 spring peepers (+6 dead) and recording 6 dead wood frogs, for a total of 7 live frogs (+12 dead).

New Ipswich

Thayer Road. A family of frog fans spent two hours on patrol at Thayer Road, where they crossed 23 wood frogs (+16 dead), 21 spring peepers (+4 dead), 1 pickerel frog, and 1 American toad, 46 live amphibians (+20 dead) in all. Congratulations to David for timing his birthday to coincide with New Ipswich’s first migration of the year, and to young Sawyer for his first full hour on the amphibian beat! This site could use more help on future migration nights.

Peterborough

Summer Street. A dedicated duo searched Summer Street for two hours, crossing 15 wood frogs (+1 dead) and 23 spring peepers (+6 dead), 38 live frogs (+7 dead) in all. A special shout-out to the salamander lover working dispatch for the Peterborough Police Department, and to Officer Martin for spending some time on patrol with our volunteers!

Rindge

A person wearing a reflective vests holds two spring peepers in one hand. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Spring peepers: coming soon to a wetland near you, with a little help from the Crossing Brigades…
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Perry Road. A new Brigadier spent nearly two hours patrolling Perry Road, crossing 9 wood frogs (+3 dead) and 19 spring peepers (+8 dead), for a total of 28 live frogs (+11 dead). In her report, she added, “Rindge Police stopped by to check on me! The officer had a good laugh when I explained what I was doing…[and then] asked if I needed anything, offering to get me hand warmers from his car.” We’re grateful that our local police departments are so supportive of the Salamander Brigades!

Sullivan

Valley Road. A longtime Brigadier spent 25 minutes on patrol, crossing 2 wood frogs. The best is yet to come for Valley Road…

Swanzey

Swanzey Lake Road. A marvelous mother-daughter team found the first trickle of migration at Swanzey Lake Road, providing safe passage for 3 wood frogs (+6 dead) and 1 spring peeper, for a total of 4 live frogs (+6 dead) in 40 minutes of searching.

Westmoreland

A wood frog crosses a yellow centerline on North Lincoln Street in Keene. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Our Salamander Crossing Brigade volunteers have collectively provided safe passage for 286 wood frogs — including this one — in 2024, and it’s not even April yet. Mind = blown.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Glebe Road. The Glebe Road crossing crew — 9 Brigadiers strong — spent two hours on patrol, crossing 1 Eastern newt (+7 dead), 17 spring peepers (+1 dead), and 1 frog of undetermined species, for a total of 19 live amphibians (+8 dead). This site is well-known for its spotted salamanders, which can migrate here by the hundreds on a classic Big Night. In other words, the best is yet to come for Glebe Road!

Wilton

Whiting Hill Road. In two hours, a fantastic foursome crossed 2 spotted salamanders (+1 dead), 2 wood frogs, 7 spring peepers (+2 dead), and 1 green frog at Carnival Hill, for a total of 12 live amphibians (+3 dead).

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. In half an hour on patrol, a terrific trio crossed 10 four-toed salamanders (+4 dead), 2 red-backed salamanders, and 1 spring peeper (+1 dead), 13 live amphibians (+5 dead) in all.

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from March 6? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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February 28, 2024

A February Migration (!!!)

Veronica Kroha smiles while holding a wood frog in one hand and a clipboard in the other. (photo © Taylor Jackson)

Salamander Crossing Brigade intern Veronica Kroha with one of the first wood frogs of 2024. You can see more photos from this year’s Crossing Brigades on Flickr.
(photo © Taylor Jackson)

On February 28, the Monadnock Region experienced our second-earliest amphibian migration in 18 years of keeping track. (The earliest was on February 25, 2017; interestingly, winter returned in full force in March of that year, and our next migration didn’t occur until April 6.)

Although it was a relatively Small Night, it was notable for its diversity and near-record timing. Collectively, 33 Crossing Brigade volunteers moved 142 individual amphibians of 7 different species to safety at 9 crossing sites throughout the Monadnock Region. (Volunteers also checked two additional sites, where they did not find any amphibians afoot.) Spring peepers, wood frogs, Jefferson complex salamanders, Eastern newts, red-backed salamanders, four-toed salamanders, and bullfrogs all made their first appearances of the year. No spotties yet, but if this warming trend continues, they could be next!

Read on for site-by-site details, listed alphabetically by town:

Henniker

River Road. One intrepid Crossing Brigadier spent a half-hour on patrol at River Road, where the ground is still well-frozen. Sadly, he only discovered 1 dead spring peeper.

Keene

Jordan Road. A fantastic foursome spent an hour and a half searching for salamanders on Jordan Road, where they crossed 1 Jefferson complex salamander and 4 wood frogs (+5 dead), and found 2 dead spring peepers — 5 live amphibians (+7 dead) in all.

A wood frog pauses on a yellow speed hump. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A wood frog contemplates climate change at North Lincoln Street in Keene on February 28, 2024.
(photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

North Lincoln Street. As part of a longstanding partnership, the Harris Center worked with the City of Keene to close the North Lincoln Street crossing site to vehicles for Wednesday’s migration — an exciting conservation measure resulting from years of Big Night data collection at this site. In just over three hours, 22 enthusiastic volunteers counted 5 Eastern newts (+5 that had been killed before the road was closed), 26 wood frogs, 85 spring peepers, and 2 bullfrogs, for a total of 118 live amphibians (+5 dead).

Peterborough

Summer Street. This crossing site is still too frozen for any significant amphibian movement, but a terrific twosome did document Summer Street’s first wood frog of the year during a 10-minute drive-through survey.

Sullivan

Valley Road. A single salamander saver spent 20 minutes on patrol on Valley Road, but no amphibians were to be found. Better luck next time!

Two hands holding a red-backed salamander. (photo © Beckley Wooster)

Seven different species were out and about on the evening of February 28, including red-backed (pictured) and four-toed salamanders at Forest Lake Road in Winchester.
(photo © Beckley Wooster)

Swanzey

Eaton Road, Matthews Road, and Swanzey Lake Road. Brief surveys of these three sites by two individual Brigadiers yielded 1 wood frog at Eaton Road, 3 wood frogs at Matthews Road, and 1 earthworm on Swanzey Lake Road, 4 frogs in all.

Westmoreland

Glebe Road. Two frog fans provided safe passage for 4 spring peepers in an hour of searching at Glebe Road.

Wilton

Whiting Hill Road. During a short scouting mission, a solo Brigadier crossed 4 wood frogs and 1 spring peeper in just 15 minutes, 5 frogs in all.

Winchester

Forest Lake Road. A dynamic duo spent 45 minutes on patrol at Forest Lake Road, where they crossed 3 four-toed salamanders (+1 dead), 1 red-backed salamander, and 1 wood frog, for a total of 5 live amphibians (+1 dead).

Do you have amphibian tallies or photos to share from February 28? We’ll update this report and the Salamander Crossing Brigade album on Flickr as we receive counts and photos, so send ’em on in!

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Contact Us

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 525-3394 or by email.