Request for help on an ambitious plan

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Josh Holbrook
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Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by Josh Holbrook » February 16th, 2015, 10:36 am

Hello all my NE chapter brethren,

To keep what could be a long post short(er); my herping goal for this year is to find all of the species of Ambystoma east of the Mississippi, and so far I've turned up 6 or 11 (see elaboration here: https://fieldventures.wordpress.com/201 ... ious-year/) not counting hybrid species. I'm going to be going to up my ancestral homeland of CT to visit relatives at the end of March, and was wondering if I could have some assistance - I grew up in New London county and never saw a Jefferson or Blue spot, but from what I remember they both occurred in the state (and if not in surrounding states). I am wondering if anyone would be willing to help me find these two species within an hour/hour and a half of New London county - Are they still 'gettable' that time of year?

Many of you probably know me or know my posts, which is why I would make the bold move of asking for guidance and/or spots to look - terrestrial salamanders are new to me, and I'm not the best at finding them quite yet, so any assistance would be greatly appreciated via response (or PM if sensitive information.)

I'll leave you with one of my favorite finds of this quest so far, Ambystoma mabeei:

Image

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ZantiMissKnit
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by ZantiMissKnit » February 17th, 2015, 6:04 am

I don't know any good spots in CT, but I have a local to me (Boston area) spot for laterale. I've only seen a few Jefferson's in my lifetime, and those were two hours to the west of us.

ETA: We're under record amounts of snow in eastern MA, and I don't know when spring migrations will start. Late March may even be too early.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by Josh Holbrook » February 17th, 2015, 6:23 am

No migration by the end of March? Ouch! Thanks for the offer - I might have to dip a little south if it's looking grim though.

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ZantiMissKnit
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by ZantiMissKnit » February 18th, 2015, 5:46 am

Josh Holbrook wrote:No migration by the end of March? Ouch! Thanks for the offer - I might have to dip a little south if it's looking grim though.
I'll wait for others to chime in. Locally, I saw my first blue-spotteds in the afternoon of 3/29, and several male spotteds headed to the vernals that night. In the western part of the state, it appeared Big Night was just about to happen when we went there on 4/13. So...we were late last year as well. I think 2013 was early (March 12? Maybe).

We would need a huge warm up, fast, to have anything earlier than that, and an early warm up would really cause a huge mess with the near 90 inches of snow we've received this winter (most of it since the end of January).

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by Josh Holbrook » February 18th, 2015, 6:41 am

ZantiMissKnit wrote:
Josh Holbrook wrote:No migration by the end of March? Ouch! Thanks for the offer - I might have to dip a little south if it's looking grim though.
I'll wait for others to chime in. Locally, I saw my first blue-spotteds in the afternoon of 3/29, and several male spotteds headed to the vernals that night. In the western part of the state, it appeared Big Night was just about to happen when we went there on 4/13. So...we were late last year as well. I think 2013 was early (March 12? Maybe).

We would need a huge warm up, fast, to have anything earlier than that, and an early warm up would really cause a huge mess with the near 90 inches of snow we've received this winter (most of it since the end of January).


I don't envy you :( . Let me know if any of you northeasterners get tired of all that and want to find some salamanders. Not that we're warm and tropical down here in NC, but desmogs can be found whenever.

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intermedius
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by intermedius » February 18th, 2015, 9:57 am

Here in NJ, most Ambystoma (both laterale and jeffersonianum) will be moving by the end of March if the weather permits. We also have some frigid temperatures right now, and a sufficient amount of snow. So far the only things moving around here are herps with wings and whatever lurks near spring seeps.

-Justin

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cbernz
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by cbernz » February 18th, 2015, 10:52 am

In 2008, Blue-spots were migrating in NJ by March 4. In 2009, I found them on the move on Feb. 27. Last year, it was March 12. It would take a ton of solar energy to thaw the ground enough for a February migration this year, but early March is still possible.

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kyle loucks
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by kyle loucks » February 18th, 2015, 1:18 pm

Pretty much the same dates I have.

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beemaster
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by beemaster » February 21st, 2015, 10:28 am

ZantiMissKnit wrote:
Josh Holbrook wrote:No migration by the end of March? Ouch! Thanks for the offer - I might have to dip a little south if it's looking grim though.
I'll wait for others to chime in. Locally, I saw my first blue-spotteds in the afternoon of 3/29, and several male spotteds headed to the vernals that night. In the western part of the state, it appeared Big Night was just about to happen when we went there on 4/13. So...we were late last year as well. I think 2013 was early (March 12? Maybe).

We would need a huge warm up, fast, to have anything earlier than that, and an early warm up would really cause a huge mess with the near 90 inches of snow we've received this winter (most of it since the end of January).
It depends what part of the state you are in to some extent. Things usually happen a little earlier on the south coast since temps tend to be more mild (esp. overnight temps, less likely to dip back below freezing). It's also worth noting that, at least in this part of the state, A. laterale are usually on the move a week or two before any "big night" for A. maculatum and wood frogs. The opposite seems to be the case in Western MA, where Jeffs and macs don't seem to be active for two or three weeks until the rest of us are already seeing action.

I do agree with your general sentiment that things are probably gonna be slow going this year. The sheer amount of snow that still needs to melt before any of that can happen is astounding. When it does, the snow melt and rain are probably going to leave good migration conditions, but rather difficult conditions for observation. Many trails (and probably some important stretches of road) are likely to be underwater. I'm hoping the rains we get this Sunday will at least help chip some of that away now.

pops
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by pops » February 21st, 2015, 10:46 am

If you come to Long Island ny, I could show you some places for pure laterale in probably late March . Good luck Dave
PS. I always really enjoy your posts!

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pete
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by pete » February 22nd, 2015, 4:45 am

I can help with platineum. About an hour west. If the snow is mostly gone.

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by Mike VanValen » February 22nd, 2015, 9:27 am

See Josh, the Northeast is your hook-up. :beer:

Now, if only the weather would cooperate. We have a reading of 41 degrees in my area right now, but it's not going to last.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by Josh Holbrook » February 23rd, 2015, 9:30 am

You're right, Mike. You New Englanders (and Altlantic Coasters) are putting southern hospitality to shame (and being a New Englander (CT/RI) originally myself, I'm glad for that.) I'll be watching the weather report and radar and PMing a couple of you guys if conditions look good.

Pete - Just to clarify, an hour west of the Cape?

I hope it thaws up there soon for you guys!

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pete
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Re: Request for help on an ambitious plan

Post by pete » February 23rd, 2015, 2:49 pm

An hour west of new London. In Connecticut. Three hours for me. Lol

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