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NB Press: (Salamander) Sightings (in December)

This is a Press Information page entitled NB Press: (Salamander) Sightings (in December) within the Press / News Items section of Caudata.org --- TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL (Saint John, New Brunswick) 10 January 09 Sightings (Don McAlpine is the research curator, head of zoology and chairman of the Department of Natural ...

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Default NB Press: (Salamander) Sightings (in December)

TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL (Saint John, New Brunswick) 10 January 09 Sightings (Don McAlpine is the research curator, head of zoology and chairman of the Department of Natural Science at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.)
Recently, on a mild December night, I took the dog out before going to bed and was surprised to see a salamander slowly making its way across the melting snow outside my front door. Now, I am from southern Ontario and have never seen a salamander in the wild in Canada before. I was thinking it was a small pet lizard that had gotten loose from one of the neighbours' homes. I brought it inside, housed it in a ventilated plastic container and did an Internet search for 'salamanders New Brunswick.' I quickly found that it was a spotted salamander indigenous to this area of New Brunswick and it was not unusual to see them during a mild snow melt. I returned him to a bare patch of grass under an evergreen in the area to which he was heading when I found him. I hope he survived OK. Can you provide any more info on these salamanders and their activity during winters? - James M. Fisher, Miramichi
The yellow-spotted salamander occurs across New Brunswick and is the more common of the two mole salamanders that occur here (the other is the blue-spotted salamander). As the name mole salamander suggests, these species spend most of their lives underground, often in association with small mammal burrows. Both species have toxic skin secretions that probably help deter mammal predators. These secretions present no hazard to people who might handle these salamanders though. The yellow-spotted salamander is seen most frequently for several weeks in April when adults move to ponds and water-filled ditches to mate and lay eggs. The adults are rarely seen the rest of the year, although they may be encountered crossing roadways on rainy evenings, in damp basements, or under a woodpile. In spite of what James found on the Internet, winter observations of this species are quite unusual, although certainly unseasonably mild weather may prompt this species to move about on the surface, perhaps if a hibernation site is flooded.
http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.c...article/534373



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