Melissa Doperalski: (603) 271-1738
Wildlife Division: (603) 271-2461
April 20, 2020
Concord, NH – Spring is in full swing in New Hampshire with the first large-scale spring amphibian migration taking place last week in the southern part of the state. Amphibians will continue to be migrating to breeding sites over the next several weeks throughout the state with the largest numbers of movements occurring on warmer, rainy nights around dusk.
The migration to breeding sites can be a dangerous feat for amphibians, and motorists should be aware that spotted salamanders, American toads, spring peepers, four-toed salamanders, Eastern red-backed salamanders, and Northern leopard frogs frequently must cross roads to reach their vernal pool breeding destinations. Whenever possible, please consider not driving on rainy nights when temperatures are greater than 40°F for the next few weeks. But if you must drive, delay your travel time to 2 hours after sunset or adjust your route to larger roads rather than smaller, wooded roads that have known concentrations of wetlands or vernal pools.
Citizens are encouraged to get involved by reporting areas where high amphibian activity or mortalities are observed as well as any encounters you may have with state-listed or rare amphibian species such as marbled salamanders, Fowler’s toads, and Northern leopard frogs. Become part of the Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program (RAARP) and report your findings online through New Hampshire Wildlife Sightings at www.nhwildlifesightings.unh.edu.
Other citizen-science opportunities include participating in a frog call survey (https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/surveys/frog.html) or mapping and surveying vernal pools on our property (https://wildlife.state.nh.us/nongame/vernal-pools.html).
Remember if you are assisting amphibians across roads or handling them for other reasons to be sure that your hands are free of lotions and other chemicals such as bug repellent.
While wood frog calls have been detected since mid-March in some locations, spring peepers, American toads, Fowler’s toads, pickerels, and gray treefrogs will still be calling into May and June, while mink, green, and bullfrogs can still be heard into July. Learn more about New Hampshire’s diversity of amphibians and reptiles at www.wildnh.com/nongame/reptiles-amphibians.html.