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Bluespotted salamander habitat

NV

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Hey guys,

I have been trying to locate these in the wild for a photography project of mine, but after 2 years I have yet to see any. So I was wondering what kind of habitat I should be looking for these guys in. My family has land in central wi (baraboo and wild rose) and have looked in wooded areas, near springs, and just about everywhere. But I have had no luck. What is the ideal time of year to look for them and what type of habitat. Does it seem like I was close.
 

Kaysie

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Early in the spring, during/after snow melt when the vernal ponds are filling up and migration is occuring.
 

Jefferson

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For a fellow Great Lakes resident, I'll let you in on a little secret: Blue-spots don't burrow like Spotteds or Tigers, if you're in the right area, you should be able to at least find a few any time between April 25th and October 1st, especially in 70-80 degree weather. The key is not a natural spring, or even old-growth woods, Blue spots are very hardy. They can live in as little as one acre of forest as long as a fish-free vernal pool of at least 35 ft across is present. If you are ever in MI, I will give you a few spots, including some in the UP. LOOK FOR BURROWS, SPOTTED SALAMANDERS OFTEN USE THE SAME BREEDING POOLS AS BLUE-SPOTS, but are more elusive. Good luck ambystomiding.
 

Willlis

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The thing to remember about them is that they can be locally common or locally rare. You could go to a woodlands a mile or two away and find a ton or none. I would try looking right as the vernal pools thaw. You could also try setting up some cover boards around potential breeding pools now and check them this spring. Just keep looking, good luck!
 

onetwentysix

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Try going out roadcruising at night on the first warm rain of the year, especially if it's in the low 50s (cooler works, too). Check out road-side ditches especially, or look for them crossing the road near wetlands. I've had really good luck in Portage County and in places in northern Wisconsin; less so south of there.
 

caudatadude28

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I find laterale at almost every locality I go to up here in northwestern wisconsin. They are abundant and laterale larvae are in nearly every vernal pond. I would say to look under logs/debris within a 50 yard radius of the vernal pool. They are most common there. And in late march-early may they are the most common to find.
 

NV

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Thank you for those tips. I will need to plan a vacation day once it warms some. I tend to spend a lot of vacation days going fishing/sampling/collecting so This will happen this year. If anyone is in my neck of the woods and wants to head out photographing, let me know. I have been playing around with photographing fish in their natural habitats so this will help me with these.
 

FrogEyes

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It's definitely too early still here in southern MN, but I'm hopeful...an isolated pocket is known SE of here and they were recently found a few miles north of here, so I suspect there may be a more continuous range between the northwestern isolates, especially along wooded river valleys. Their genetic and fossil history pretty much requires they were here to begin with.
 
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