|Spotted salamander on the road.|
(photo thanks to frog-shots.com)
This winter has been unusually mild. Animals are probably ready to move with a good rain. Some minor movement has already been reported, in some cases without rain, but large migrations have not been observed. Migrations are usually from mid-March to late-April with the variations depending on the local climate.
If you go out on a rainy night to observe migrations, do be careful if you are looking at road crossing sites. Drivers will have trouble seeing "salamander people" on the road. Resist the urge to stop traffic to save amphibians. Don't become a statistic. If you find a location with significant roadkill, work with local authorities for road closings in future years.
Once mole salamanders and wood frogs reach their vernal pool, breeding activities commence. For spotted salamanders, this means the males congress and lay down spermatophores from which the females pick up sperm.Wood frogs commence a "quacking" chorus.
These animal activities signal spring for many of us.