tips on finding salamanders in CA

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herpseeker1978
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tips on finding salamanders in CA

Post by herpseeker1978 » November 19th, 2017, 8:04 pm

We're going to be spend spring break (last week in March) in Morro Bay. We will be doing plenty of herping amid whale-watching, tide-pooling and other outdoors activities. I really want to see some salamanders, I don't have too much experience finding salamanders so I was hoping to get some advice on where and how to look for them. Any help is appreciated!

Thanks!
Josh

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Fieldherper
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Re: tips on finding salamanders in CA

Post by Fieldherper » November 21st, 2017, 7:04 am

Salamanders should be relatively easy to find in March in Central CA. Moisture is the key. At that time of year, there should still be good moisture levels. Woodlands will tend to have the most sallies. Gently checking under fallen oak or pine logs/bark is a good method. Canyons or ravines with permanent or semi-permanent water sources are likely places. You will also likely see skinks, alligator lizards, ringnecks, and several other reptile species. Heading further North of Morro Bay along the coast toward Monterey County will increase your chances of seeing additional salamander species. Good luck!

FH

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Calfirecap
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Re: tips on finding salamanders in CA

Post by Calfirecap » November 21st, 2017, 8:34 am

What Field Harper said plus you can throw rock flipping into the mix. Avoid Eucalyptus groves, you will probably only get Slender Salamanders under these. In the canyons or ravines concentrate on areas with 80% canopy or less, less is better.

Lawrence

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: tips on finding salamanders in CA

Post by Bryan Hamilton » November 21st, 2017, 9:50 am

Hi Lawrence,

So less canopy cover is better? That's the opposite of what I would have expected. Any thoughts on why?

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Calfirecap
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Re: tips on finding salamanders in CA

Post by Calfirecap » November 26th, 2017, 5:09 pm

Brian, I better clarify that one. Some of that depends upon the species, and many need some canopy for shading, others surprisingly little, but most (at least around here) are much more prevalent when there is less than an 80% canopy. I think that probably a better way to put it would be to look for patchy sun and begin flipping there. This is all for day time herping. Night time is a different story. At night a good way to search is to wait for rain, then walk open areas with a light.

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kevin h
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Re: tips on finding salamanders in CA

Post by kevin h » December 4th, 2017, 7:23 pm

Night herping is key when searching for salamanders especially in areas like California. If you have any moisture at all at night go out and shine the forest floor, tree trunks and rock faces. Salamanders will be out foraging for food and you should be able to spot them on-the-crawl.

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