In the mid and lower Hudson estuary watershed, egg masses of wood frog, spotted salamander, and Jefferson-blue spotted salamander complex are developing under water, still weeks away from hatching into frog tadpoles or salamander larvae. Further north in the estuary watershed, where the breeding season gets a later start, male wood frogs may still be calling from woodland pools to lure females for breeding. Their distinct call resembles the sound of quacking ducks.
How wonderful. Trapped here quarentined in NYC, I’m not able to get up to my woods in Upstate and check out the vernal pools, but my sister sent me a video of the wood frogs and peepers singing. Last spring I was thrilled to see so how many frog egg masses there were. After years of hearing few to no peepers, they’ve made a remarkable recovery. Now that environmental policies have been rolled back by the current administration, they will be once again in danger.
Environmental policies notwithstanding, reptiles, amphibians and many other types of wildlife are losing ground, and no one knows exactly why. There are likely several contributing factors including direct death by humans (poaching, roadkill, pollution,, etc.) and extinction from changes in climate, habitat loss, ecosystem changes, and ozone depletion allowing ultraviolet and other types of radiation. Yes, we seem to have stopped destroying the ozone a couple decades ago, but it is thought that it will take another 30-50 years to get the ozone layer back to where it was before CFCs were introduced nearly a century ago. It is thought amphibians are particularly susceptible to chromosome damage from radiation. Climate change in many areas is causing long-term droughts in some areas, which obviously will effect amphibians. At this point we can only help them by minimizing pollution and increasing/improving wetland management. Society needs to listen to the canaries in the coal mine. And give them a brake when they are crossing the road!!
I wonder if there are any observable improvements in the world environment because of the current slowdown in the economy. I think there should be a little less smog, perhaps observable from the space station. And while I am at it, nobody has mentioned how the ice has gone out so early this year. That is a spring-sign too.
Many problematic cities around the world noticed an improvement in air quality and clarity within just a week or two. Perhaps more significantly, a lack of pollution and contrails from commercial aviation can be studied to determine their effects. Can’t comment on the space station, but I hope they are wearing masks and observing social distancing!
So now all us old people who were going to die from air pollution get to be serviced by the virus instead.
Just imagine the space station people being the last people on earth.
Hopefully, they won’t all be men!
Perhaps I am the only man up there now!
Here they are working off their spring fever near Lake George. https://twitter.com/EdBurkeToga/status/1247675034128338946