Saturday, April 18, 2020

Signs of Spring: Emerging Life in Woodland Pools 

A gelatinous mass of frog eggs with black dots are nascent tadpoles. 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.


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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

9 Responses

  1. Suzanne says:

    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.

    • Boreas says:


      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!!

  2. Ed Burke says:

    Here they are working off their spring fever near Lake George.

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