Melissa Doperalski: (603) 271-1738
Wildlife Division: (603) 271-2461
March 21, 2022
Concord, NH – Spring has officially arrived in New Hampshire, and as the days get warmer and those remaining stubborn snow piles melt, a variety of wildlife are waking up from their winter slumber. Over the coming weeks and months, amphibians will begin to migrate to breeding sites throughout the state, with the largest volume of movement occurring on warmer, rainy evenings around dusk.
Migration to breeding sites can be a dangerous feat for amphibians. Motorists should be aware that spotted salamanders, American toads, spring peepers, four-toed salamanders, Eastern red-backed salamanders, wood frogs, 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. If you must drive, delay your travel time until at least two hours after sunset or adjust your route to larger streets and avoid smaller, wooded roads with higher concentrations of wetlands and vernal pools.
Residents 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 https://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).
If you assist amphibians across roads, or handle them for another reason, be sure that your hands are free of lotions and other chemicals such as bug repellent. Wood frogs often make the first calls of the spring, followed closely by spring peepers, American toads, Fowler’s toads, pickerel frogs, and gray tree frogs, with calling lasting into May and June. Mink frogs, green frogs, and bullfrogs are late-season callers and typically begin their refrain from June into July. Learn more about New Hampshire’s diversity of amphibians and reptiles at www.wildnh.com/nongame/reptiles-amphibians.html.