For some people, the thought of a frog brings up mental pictures of small, toothless amphibians. Not many care to catch one of these leaping beauties to do an oral exam but if you were to, you would find most frogs indeed have teeth. Here in the Adirondacks, one of these toothed wonders is the wood frog.
Posts Tagged ‘frogs’
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With the arrival of spring temperatures, amphibians have begun their annual migrations to woodland pools to breed. Often, they must cross roads to reach these pools. In New York, this migration usually occurs on rainy nights in late March and early April, when the night air temperature is above 40F. When these conditions exist there can be explosive, “big night” migrations, with hundreds of amphibians on the move. Volunteers can help document these locations and help amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, American toads, or spring peepers safely cross the road. Drivers on New York roads are encouraged to proceed with caution or avoid travel on the first warm, rainy evenings of the season. Amphibians come out after nightfall and are slow-moving; mortality can be high even on low-traffic roads.
Photo of wood frog by Laura Heady.
On rainy spring nights when weather conditions are right, large numbers of salamanders and frogs emerge from winter hibernation in the forest and make their way to woodland pools, where they’ll mate and lay eggs. Many migrating amphibians need to cross roads to reach these vernal pools. The Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Project enlists volunteers to find locations in the Hudson Valley where migrations cross roads; document weather and traffic conditions; record migrating amphibians; and help them across the road.
Are you interested in volunteering? The Amphibian Migrations & Road Crossings (AM&RC) Project is offering an online training program on Wednesday, February 10, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. This session will serve as an introduction to new participants and a refresher for returning volunteers. If you’ve never attended an AM&RC training, we strongly encourage you to watch the recorded training modules on YouTube for more in-depth instruction and information, prior to the online program.
The training on February 10 will include:
By Thompson Tomaszewski, Lead Naturalist, Paul Smith’s College VIC
Every resident of the Park marks the changing of the seasons in their own way. We all joke about the “12 seasons of the Adirondacks” that include second winter, false spring, mud season (followed by third winter) and so on as if we are bothered by the seasonality of our landscape, but that is far from the truth. Us blue-liners have come to terms with our seasonal lives, and find excitement in the signs of seasonal changes.
The call of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) (pictured at left) is by far my favorite sound; no noise of any other critter compares. I could sit and listen for hours on end to their high pitched peeps. This, to me, is the song of spring in the Adirondacks.
Laced into this soprano song is the clucking call of the wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus). Their rough tune is starkly contrasted with that of their neighbor’s but is equally a part of this choir that I’ve come to know and yearn for each April.
This choir is my favorite for two reasons: 1) it’s pleasing to the ear, and 2) it means that salamanders are getting ready to move.