March 8th, 2013 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer
The Woodland Park Zoo, in collaboration with several other local organizations, is working with volunteers to survey amphibian egg masses in local ponds and wetlands, including the Arboretum. Volunteers began 2013 monitoring in February. Already they have discovered loads of live Tree Frog eggs and possible Northern Red-legged Frog eggs in the upper pond of the Woodland Garden area! To read more about the program, scroll down to the “Amphibian Monitoring 2013” story on this page.
February 10th, 2013 by Rosemary Baker, UBNA RA
A surprising UBNA find – a western redback salamander (Plethedon vehiculum)
Amphibians are the canary in the mineshaft, warning-systems for deteriorating ecosystems and yet this species was found in the former-landfill, Union Bay Natural Area, in January 2013. Nestled beneath woody debris and in hibernation mode, it was accidentally discovered by a volunteer during a work party to remove Himalayan blackberry. Why isn’t this one “red-backed”, you ask? That’s because although most commonly having an orangey-red dorsal stripe, this species occasionally presents a yellow one instead.
What a great find!