Welcome to Animals On the Move!

My children's book ON THE MOVE was published in Spring 2013 by Arbordale Publishing.
In this blog I will be letting you know about animal mass migrations taking place in North America.
So scroll on down!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Get Warmed Up for the Salamanders!

copyright Susan Detwiler
"Spring paints the forest in fresh shades of purple, yellow, and green. Warm rain falls in drips and drops on the cold ground. Spotted salamanders crawl out of their underground homes after dark. . . This is their big night, and soon they are on the move." ~ On the Move: Mass Migrations by Scotti Cohn
The spring migration of the spotted salamander usually occurs after a hard rain and temperatures are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, especially after a week or so of warmer temperatures to help warm the ground. This year, the salamanders at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve in Alabama got moving near the end of last month. Further north, certain species of salamanders, frogs, and toads are just now gearing up for the event.

Salamanders make a big difference in ecosystems because of the amount of insects they consume, and they are prey for birds and small mammals. Here is an interesting article about research and studies that are being done about salamanders: Ohio State researcher discusses salmander study in the county.

In some areas, roads are closed during the period of time that salamanders are traveling to their breeding ground. Crossing brigades are organized to protect the salamanders. Some communities plan special activities during which people can view the migration firsthand and learn more about why it takes place. For example, in Arcadia, Massachusetts, "Big Night" hikes and activities are scheduled for March 29 of this year: Arcadia's Big Night.