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Rethinking enclosure

R

rachel

Guest
Hello all,

When I first started working at the zoo, we had a vernal pool exhibit which was filled with 3 spotted salamanders, a marbled salamander, a red eft that never turned into adult form, and a few different frog species such as grey tree frogs that lived in the branches above the water.

Four and a half years later we just have the three spotted salamanders in a semi-aquatic tank with lots of hiding spaces, however we will be getting some adult red-spotted newts.

I want to rethink the exhibit. I would like to get a substrate that would allow more burrowing of the spotteds, and have enough water for the red-spotted newts to live in comfortably. We have had such species living together before with no aggression seen.

Any thoughts? I would want enough water for the red-spotteds but how do Spotted Sals do with deeper water?

Any thoughts would be great. My thoughts are to have a gradual slope to water as the sals have now, but then have a drop of within the pool to deeper water with live plants for the newts.

Thanks for your input.

Rachel
 
R

rachel

Guest
Hello,

I haven't had any response to this so perhaps I should make what I really need to know clearer. Are Spotted Salamanders susceptible to drowning in deeper water. There would be a sudden drop-off into the deep water and I would have a plastic branch for climbing out of this area. The shallower water would then slope to the surface.

Thanks. I just want to set up the exhibit as soon as possible.

Rachel
 
M

mark

Guest
Hi Rachel, in the years that I’ve kept spotted salamanders, A.maculatum, I’ve not once seen them show any interest in taking to water. Unless they breed, which is very improbable, I would think it doubtful they’ll even use the water area. They can swim but I personally wouldn’t trust them in deep water that didn’t have an easy sloping exit.

I’m quite surprised a zoo would want A.maculatum in an exhibit. They are very secretive and given the correct conditions will remain in their hide/burrow. If you’re lucky they might poke their head out of the burrow entrance at night. Not great for public viewing
sick.gif
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R

rachel

Guest
Thank you.

They got them in 1999 and are in a semi aquatic (with shallow water) exhibit. Originally, as I mentioned they had a slightly drier tank with Red-spotted Newts (now I know why the eft never turned into an aquatic adult), Marbled Salamanders, Tree frogs and such.

You are correct though. They hide most of the day, and I think that the only reason they are sometimes visible is that they don't really have adequate burying substrate.

I have been at the zoo for over four years and have slowly learned more and more about the animals that we have. I am quite busy redoing exhibits and this is my next big project. I am wondering now whether I should go with another exhibit entirely for the Red-spotted newts, unless I do it with one long slope into the deeper water.

I may make a sketch of what I was originally thinking and post it here.

Thank you again for your time and expertise.

Rachel

P.S. they have recently got into the habit of sticking their heads out when I bring food. They have been taking food right from me also. Although their usual behaviour is complete shyness.

(Message edited by dragonwalker on November 25, 2006)
 
R

rachel

Guest
Here is a cross section of the tank idea for the mixed species. Sorry, the pic was a bit rushed as I was hoping to add it to my last post through edit but it didn't give me the option. Sorry for all these extra posts recently.

73850.jpg


The vertical blue lines would be plexiglass
 
J

jacob

Guest
None of my A. maculatum ever liked going in water. Generally speaking, they don't even need standing water, just a cool, damp substrate will do. A small dish of water is fine.

A zoo really kept spotted salamanders, marbled salamanders and frogs all in one enclosure? I'd be worried about someone getting eaten or intoxicated by a cage mate.
 
R

rachel

Guest
It is amazing that they didn't but it was set up before I started working there and they all seemed to do fine. i have decided now that their needs are so different that the Red-spotted adults will not be put in with the spotted salamanders. If they do then I will deal with the design then but I would rather not.
 
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