On Winter Perseverance of our Cold-blooded Friends

Today marks the 180th day in a row I have had snow in my front yard. Most had melted as of mid-April and all that remains is what piled up under the edge of my barn roof, and that too shall pass in the coming weeks. Yet it was that point around mid-April that I […]

Trapped under the ice, but breathing just fine. How clean water is critical to Wood Turtle survival in the winter.

It’s hard to imagine an air-breathing vertebrate holding their breath for 130 days, but that is exactly what all fifteen of the Wood Turtles I tracked last year using radio telemetry have done since late November. And it’s not just air, they likely haven’t eaten in that time either. During brumation (akin to, but not […]

Winter Blizzards Bring Spring Lizards: How to find amphibians during their spring breeding migrations

Every spring in the northeast, as the snows melt and the ground begins to thaw, frogs and salamanders move out of their upland overwintering habitat down and into wetlands to breed and lay their eggs (and no, salamanders are not actually lizards, so please excuse my turn of phrase). Unfortunately, when roads cut between breeding […]

What Lies Beneath: Salamanders in the Basement

Most people go the entire winter in Northern New England without seeing a single reptile or amphibian, but those that do almost always find them in the same place: their basement. Usually the culprit is a Spotted Salamander, but the list of species that turn up in people’s basements is endless.  In many ways, basements […]

Baby Wood Turtles: A 2019 Highlight

While adult turtles have very high survival rates from year to year and can live exceptionally long times, the life expectancy of a hatchling is very short. Indeed, most turtle nests don’t survive (nest failure rates are often greater than 90%), and out of the small percentage of hatchlings that do make it to the […]