Salamanders, the tailed amphibians, are among the most secretive herpetofauna. They are relatively inconspicuous, remaining out of sight throughout most of the year. Many species are seen only during their breeding seasons when they migrate to and from their breeding ponds. Others are active throughout the year, but only at night or after heavy rains. Some species will only be seen when specifically searched for, and even then they may prove elusive.
Salamanders are noted for a diversity of life history patterns. Some salamander species are quick growing and short-lived, whereas others grow slowly but have long lives (some may live longer than 50 years). Many salamanders, such as the spotted salamander, exhibit biphasic life cycles (typical of amphibians in general) with metamorphosis separating the larval ("tadpole") and adult stages. Other species, such as the Red-backed salamander, complete metamorphosis within the egg and do not have a free-living larval stage.
Wetland and upland habitat loss, fragmentation and/or degradation, and collection for commercial purposes (research and pets) are the major threats to these organisms. NAP monitors potential and known locations of salamanders (within City of Ann Arbor park land) to determine species diversity, distribution, and relative abundance.
You can help us monitor these cagey creatures! Give us a call at 734-794-6627 or send us an email to find out more about our annual spring salamander survey!