Spotting Salamanders

Text & photos by Scott Parent.

Spotting salamanders can be a rare highlight of springtime. When asked to parade our kids through the leek-lush hardwoods of an old acreage to count these amphibians, we did not anticipate a high score. Birch Behmann and family have been tallying the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association salamander plot count for the past 10 years. We scouted beneath 40 pine boards arranged like a tic-tac-toe grid on the forest floor in numerical order.

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After board number one revealed a handful of eastern red-backs, the wonder-strike hit hard.

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This was bigger than an Easter egg scavenger hunt. Altogether we counted 30 salamanders. One yellow-spotted, one red-eft, and an abundance of eastern red-backs.

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The salamander count is part of a long-term forest monitoring project held by the BPBA. Learn more here.

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Birch Behmann is an outdoor ed teacher at Bruce Peninsula District Secondary School, and a volunteer for many projects held by the BPBA.

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