Thursday, 7 April 2011

Recent Amphibian Activity

There have been reports to a regional nature list of chorus frogs, spring peepers and wood frogs calling, and sightings of leopard frogs on the move. Frogs and salamanders are coming out of hibernation and heading for their breeding grounds.  On April 4th Mark Conboy was out and about in the Lake Opinicon/Chaffey's Locks area and reported:

I had a good movement of frogs and salamanders in the Lake Opinicon
area last night. One of the best and most accessible amphibian
breeding ponds in my area has about 30 of shoreline along a road which
makes for an excellent way to sample the comings and goings of frogs
and salamanders. Forty minutes of counting amphibians crossing this
patch of road way (which had no traffic between 9:40 and 10:20 pm)
produced the following:

wood frog 48
spring peeper 42
yellow-spotted salamander 6
blue-spotted salamander 36
eastern newt 4

There was also a small chorus of wood frogs and spring peepers in the
pond, but it was still very small compared to what it will amount to
in future evenings. Spring peepers only started calling here Sunday
afternoon/evening and this was my first batch of calling wood frogs.

On the 1.3 km driveway in the Queen's University Biological Station I counted:
northern leopard frog 8
spring peeper 4
yellow-spotted salamander 2
blue-spotted salamander 2


The Opinicon Natural History website, with postings from researchers at Queen's University Biological Station, has some species accounts.  A timely one for spring gives us information about the spring peeper, a diminutive frog that we don't often notice throughout the summer season, but one that makes its presence clearly known with loud peeping calls in springtime. The detailed account by Kathryn Stewart is found at

                                                                         Posted by R. Burke

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