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How to find sallies in a small Michigan forest (mostly old growth)?

Bill B

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Hello all, I have been searching a park in Michigan, USA, that has a fair amount of old growth forest along with a golf course, baseball diamonds, and wetland near a creek. Found a very healthy, large (for the species) Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) but have turned over log after log after log and not found any sort of amphibian. At least out my parents' cottage, which has deep forest on old dunes along Lake Michigan, I could find Red-backed Salamanders and frogs. What am I doing wrong? Not even a red-back have I found in this park. From my experience, red-backs tend to just under coarse woody debris. Are other Michiganian salamanders farther down? Are there none here???? Been a dry summer, but there has been quite a bit of rain lately.
 
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Kaysie

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Salamanders don't especially like disturbed areas. Even areas that were disturbed dozens of years ago can show a lack of salamander populations. There are very few legitimate old-growth forests in Michigan. Most are in the UP, with one in central lower peninsula (Hartwick Pines S.P.). I don't know of any actual old-growth forests in any of the lower counties. Here's an interesting article on the definition/protection of old-growth forests in MI.

What you're doing wrong is looking in the wrong areas at the wrong time of year. Expand your horizons. And keep in mind that Michigan isn't exactly a hotbed of caudate diversity.
 
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JessKB

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with the dry, hot summer we've had, I think most mole salamanders are going to be down deep right now. When it starts raining heavy this fall, go flip some logs then. The few times out this summer I've been having a hard time finding anything but larvae. I go to places where it's normally very hard NOT to flip a blue spotted salamander, but haven't found hardly anything.
 

Wildebeestking

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I sound like a broken record, but the really high temperatures and dry weather has driven them underground. Wait a few more weeks and try again when its cooler and wetter giving you a better chance to see something. I had a trip planned to go to Stony Creek this past weekend, but I ended up putting it off until the end of September/beginning of October. Hope this helps!
 

Neotenic_Jaymes

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I thinks its been raining fairly lately and the temps have been steady around 60-55 degrees at night. Ambient air temp during the day has been low 70's. I'm positive the salamanders are out. I need to get back out into the field soon.
 

Bill B

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I thinks its been raining fairly lately and the temps have been steady around 60-55 degrees at night. Ambient air temp during the day has been low 70's. I'm positive the salamanders are out. I need to get back out into the field soon.

Not much rain, though, Jaymes. Just light scattered stuff. Unless the Detroit area/SE corner of the state is getting more.
 

Jefferson

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To everyone's question, there are sallies out in Mi right now. I field herped during the driest week of August just after a light sprinkle brought the caudates out. I found four species, and a few that I have never seen there before. With temperatures falling, I would expect the Tigers to start their fall migrations away from the vernal pools all over southern Michigan. i have found in Washtenaw and Wayne county that red-backs and blue-spots are extroardinarily resillient, that they can live in woods as small as one or two acres just fine, even if it has been cut. I have noticed more that the closer to the Lakes I get, the less Ambystomids seem to occur, with the exception of Ohio's Marbled+Smallmouth. Look in an area with more of a moist forest and rich soil, sallies hate sandy soils and conifers. I would not be hesitant to send anyone a private message on where to find certain species, especially if anyone knows a hotspot for a few I'm looking for.
 
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    Because his soil is certainly not 80 degrees fahrenheit, and I dont want to freeze the poor bugger with ice packs if he really doesnt need them. Hes been doing fine, but Im just so stressed because I cant get ANy information on how to handle this little guy. Theyre illegal to keep without a permit, but this one would not have survived without my intervention. So I cant call and ask anyone for help. If theres a betetr site than this one, I sure havent found it. But I never get any replies here. We are all just asking questions and getting none answered basically. Its really frustrating as I just want to help this little dude be happy and healthy. All I can get him to eat is potato bugs as well. I cant find anything else that he will eat. Is that even okay? :/ hes been eating strictly those since may first.
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    Does ANYONE know of a site more active than this where I can get my questions answered? My little bud needs help and Im just not getting it here.
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    Alright well I bought a bunch of stuff for his tank and hope it helps. Im getting extremelty frustrated that bI cant get an answer. Guess buddies just gonna have to die or some shit. like wtf why cant I get any help.
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    I'm afraid this is the largest and most active community for this kind of information, probably on the entire internet. That said, we are still small overall. We can't help you all of the time. We do offer you support and have answered your questions in the past so I feel it's very impolite to lose patience with us.
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    Second of all, was you who said you wild caught your salamander? And had Authorities threaten to retrieve it from you?
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    Third of all, assuming thats the case, no one seems to want to face the reality that these animals come from climates and microenvironments where they need to be kept cool. If you can't hack, then release it where you pulled it from.
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    he was dying outside. SO SORRY i was nice enough to save him. can i even release him in wetaher thats 40 degree celcius? will he not just die outside because he cant dig through the hard ground?
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    The ONLY reason I spent 500 dollars on this thing was to keep him alive. thats IT. He was completely dry with cracked skin and couldnt walk and I nursed him back to health. Now I should just throw him outside on the hard baked ground where I found him? in my driveway? Really dude?
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    I am losing patienc ebecause I care. Because I cant get any answers in any length of time that will actually benefit him. He'll only eat potato bugs, I just want him to have good rest of his life. Thats IT. So dont act like I went out an dillegally trapped some poor salamander out of the wild for fun cuz I wanted one.
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    I am very sure he was just trying to pass by, because he certainly cant dig ANYWHERE in the soil ANYWHERE near where I live. So I cannot just release him in 40 degree celcius on the super hard baked ground where theres no shelter and no food and now ater to be seen for miles. I dont see how that wioll help him at all.
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    What did I say sorry? What word?
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    Same thoughts reduced to bytes on a website
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