Conserve Wildlife Blog

Sipping for Salamanders

July 7th, 2021

by Christine Healy, Wildlife Biologist

Trivia winners “Team Bobcat” pose with their handmade wooden salamander medallions.
(Left to right: Diane Reid, Amy Greene, Brian Haggerty, Janice Haggerty, and MacKenzie Hall)
The words referring to
1. The most elusive groups of amphibians
2. Residents of Italy’s largest island
are actually homophones

What are they called?

If you guessed caecilians, you’d have done well at CWF’s recent trivia night- an event celebrating and supporting the Amphibian Crossing Project, held in partnership with Jersey Girl Brewing Company in Hackettstown.

We were overwhelmed by the support that we received from volunteers, board members, friends of the organization- both old and new, and of course the Jersey Girl team. Participants answered questions from a broad range of categories while enjoying homemade cookies shaped like salamanders, tortoises, and New Jersey, with a few Loch Ness Monsters thrown in for luck (she’s possibly a long-necked newt, after all) and sandwiches provided by Jersey Mike’s in Hackettstown. All contestants put up an impressive showing, but with a perfect score it was Team Bobcat that took home the amphibian medallions.

The Amphibian Crossing Project reached an important milestone in 2021, as this spring marked ten years of organized rescue nights on Waterloo Road, in Byram Township. Each season, participants brave cold and rainy conditions to help an average of 1,860 animals complete their annual migration from the upland forest in Allamuchy Mountain State Park to their breeding grounds in New Jersey’s largest vernal pool. While staff and volunteers took care to maintain social distancing as a COVID-19 precaution, the frogs, toads, and salamanders certainly did not; at 4,046 successful crossings, numbers more than doubled this year.

Waterloo will experience another milestone in 2022, as the installation of a specially designed amphibian passage system will provide migrators with a safe subterranean route, negating the need for human interference after next season.  While spring will feel rather different without a patrol of Waterloo involved, it is very exciting to watch this project become even more of a conservation success story and we can’t wait to see where the crossing goes from here.

Please consider making a contribution to support our work by clicking the button below and noting the “Amphibian Crossing Project.”

One Response to “Sipping for Salamanders”

  1. Amy S Greene says:

    A fun night to support a great organization and its staff and volunteers!

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