Every year some researchers come down to NRJ around the end of February to search for salamanders. It's always fun and exciting to see what they find. This year, females swollen with eggs! I asked George Brooks if he would give us a quick lesson on these cute critters and this is what he had to say:
Spotted salamanders are members of the mole salamander family, and spend most of their lives underground. They can live up to 20 years in the wild! Typically with the first warm rains of spring, spotted salamanders migrate to breeding wetlands under the cover of darkness. They require seasonally flooded wetlands that are free from fish so that their eggs and larvae are not eaten. Unfortunately, these types of wetlands are not currently protected in the US, and are being lost as a result of land-use change.
Thanks for the fantastic pictures and information, George!