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Field Herping Discussion Discuss Field Herping and ask questions about techniques, how to observe certain animals, what kind of habitats they inhabit, etc. Do not post field herping accounts in this sub-topic.

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Old 23rd January 2013   #1
Jefferson
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Default Early vernal pool migrations possible

Here in Michigan, everything is pretty quiet as far as caudates go right now. The temps are dipping toward 0 at night, and the wind chills are horrible. However, the last two weeks have seen incredible temperature swings. Sightings have been coming in from everywhere south of the 40 degree latitude line of Jeffersons and Two-Liners, not to mention A. barbouri. As a Michigander, I am jealous. But, more than that, I am worried that a premature vernal pool migration would lead to eggs freezing, and a lost year of salamander juveniles. The same thing happened last year. Attending one of my favorite home spots in early March, I discovered that the migration had been over for more than two weeks, and that almost none of the juveniles had survived the inevitable cool-off. With temps projected to be in the 20s, it's not quite time for me to drop the pen and phone, and don the galoshes and poncho, but it could be a lot sooner than it's supposed to be. For anyone wishing to share their experiences with this, or report premature migrations, go ahead. For now, I'm doing a little bit of waiting, a little ecstatic research, and a little worrying. February 10th doesn't seem like a normal migration date anywhere north of Chattanooga, just saying.



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Old 25th January 2013   #2
Keith
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Default Re: Early vernal pool migrations possible

I had some of the same issues this past year here in Michigan over on the west side. Here's hoping for a more amphibian friendly spring The other solution that I try and do every year is to head south in mid to late march for some early spring herping. Last year that meant finding some amphiuma down in Florida



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Old 25th January 2013   #3
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Default Re: Early vernal pool migrations possible

Nice, I have never herped south of the 35 degree lat line. Good job with an amphiuma.



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Old 26th January 2013   #4
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Default Re: Early vernal pool migrations possible

We had low 70s and 3 days straight of rain about 2 weeks ago here in Alabama. I went to m Ambystoma maculatum spot at the end of that spell in the morning and heard frogs everywhere, saw 2 dozen plus egg masses(spotteds and leopard frog), and found 1 adult A. maculatum female that was a bit dry and skinny. Early Jan. is early for here, as far as I know for A. maculatum, but luckily enough lows here are in the mid 30s now so they should be fine and I will be monitoring them weekly. I will try to let you know if I notice any deleterious effects of the early breedings.



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Old 27th January 2013   #5
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Default Re: Early vernal pool migrations possible

Well, weather forecasts here in Michigan just got bumped up from the high 40s on Tuesday to the mid 50s, with temps holding above 50 until well after midnight, with temps holding in the 60s until after midnight in Central Ohio. Call me crazy, but I think the Midwest is about to experience a January vernal pool migration!!!! Get out the poncho and galoshes, salamander season starts anew!



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