Fall Amphibians near Portland

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the_cw1
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Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by the_cw1 » September 30th, 2015, 12:47 pm

Hi all,

I'm relatively new to the whole herping thing, so a bit of advice would be appreciated. I'm looking to find some amphibians in the greater Portland area, preferably those that are going to be out after 5pm (as that's when my schedule lines up with other people.) Does anyone have any areas they think might be good for this?

Thanks!

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SurfinHerp
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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by SurfinHerp » October 1st, 2015, 8:25 am

Hi CW,

I'm not from Portland and I have never herped there, but I'll give you some recommendations based on just 10 minutes of studying the Portland area using Google Earth...

The NW part of the city has a long, forested, hilly area with a lot of trails and few roads. If I lived near there and wanted to see amphibians, I would road cruise at night during a light rainfall. Otherwise, I would hike some of the trails during the daytime to become familiar with them, then return at night in the rain.

I'll send you a PM with a list of specific roads that you might try.

Let us know if you have any luck!

Jeff

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AndyKraemer
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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by AndyKraemer » October 1st, 2015, 9:57 am

Portland is a very cool place to herp. If you live on the east end of town, you should have time to venture into the Columbia River gorge for some of the fun local species in the evenings (e.g. Rhyacotriton, Plethodon, Batrachoseps). If you have time for a longer day trip on the weekends you could go further into the gorge for other exciting things (zonata have been spotted in the area...). In short, though, Jeff is right - rain will give you the most diversity, otherwise your finds will be mostly Thamnophis (not that there's anything Wrong with that!).

Good luck, and tell us what you find!

Cheers,
Andy

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AndyO'Connor
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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by AndyO'Connor » October 1st, 2015, 1:28 pm

Well, you won't see zonata on the Oregon side of the Gorge...

Basically look for any park with trails near water. Flip logs, rocks, and other debris. If it's raining and above 50, you should find a LOT of species and in high numbers. Some of the exits off of state route 84 along the Columbia once you get away from the city have been very productive and easy to herp. There are also city parks within Portland that I've heard can be fun, though I've never really herped IN Portland, just near it.

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AndyKraemer
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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by AndyKraemer » October 1st, 2015, 4:29 pm

The other Andy is right, zonata aren't on the Oregon side. They are, however, just a few-minute drive from one of the bridges that crosses over to Washington, and definitely within the gorge.

Also, be optimistic when herping within Portland itself! Plethodon dunni can be common, as are Ensatina. I have been lucky enough to see Batrachoseps within one of the city parks, and I heard Aneides can be found within the city limits.

Cheers,
Andy

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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by FrogO_Oeyes » October 2nd, 2015, 10:31 am

I found what looked almost certainly to be Aneides in Forest Park, but a close look showed it was probably a large P.dunni, albeit in Aneides habitat and Aneides color. Dicamptodon of both species are abundant around the city, with D.tenebrosus especially abundant in Forest Park. Plethodon dunni is abundant everywhere, as well as some P.vehiculum. Thamnophis sirtalis, Thamnophis ordinoides, Ambystoma macrodactylum, and Pseudacris regilla are common on the island[s] downtown. Rana aurora is present, and I've found a few Ensatina and one Elgaria coerulea in the metropolitan area. I've found Thamnophis elegans, Ascaphus truei and three Rhyacotriton, plus Uroctonus mordax, but only out of the cities and into the mountains or gorge.

While L.zonata has not been found on the Oregon side, it arguably almost certainly occurs there somewhere, unless Washington populations are introduced.

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jonathan
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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by jonathan » October 3rd, 2015, 9:49 pm

I have never, ever herped a stream in Portland and failed to find amphibians. The fast streams have Coastal Giants and Dunn's, the slower stuff and ponds/marshes have newts and long-toed salis (and sometimes Northwesterns), and the woods in general have ensatina and redbacks. Red-legged frogs, bullfrogs, and pacific chorus frogs can be found in many habitats. Cascade Torrents, slenders, and clouded salis are possible as you get to the east. Just look for water and you should find something.


FrogO_Oeyes wrote:Dicamptodon of both species are abundant around the city, with D.tenebrosus especially abundant in Forest Park.
Both species? I wasn't aware of Cope's being confirmed in Portland itself - In Oregon I'm only familiar with them in the Gorge, Mt. Hood, and Coast Range.

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Re: Fall Amphibians near Portland

Post by the_cw1 » October 14th, 2015, 1:52 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses! I went out to the Tillamook forest and had a great time. No herps, haha, but plenty of other critters. Lots of inverts. It was quite the trip and I had fun. :)

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