Message from the Superintendent
The planning team is currently in the final stages of drafting the General Managment Plan and beginning the internal review process which includes reviews and revisions. More »
Virginia District - Beach Parking Update
Due to Hurricane Sandy and the March 6 storm, there is limited parking in the Virginia District. As of 4/4/13 parking lot 1 and part of parking lot 2 are open. All parking lots are expected to be open by Memorial Day weekend. More »
Hurricane Sandy Photos on flickr
View images from the Maryland and Virginia districts of Assateague Island National Seashore on our flickr site. More »
Several factors are thought to limit amphibian diversity of Assateague, the most obvious being the barrier posed by the salty waters of the bay separating the island from the mainland. Due to their highly permeable skins, most amphibians cannot tolerate the infusion of salt that occurs when submersed in seawater. A second major limiting factor is the relative scarcity of fresh water habitats available on the island. Most such areas are found only in the central portion of the island, well removed from the waters of the surrounding ocean and bay. All of Assateague's amphibian species require fresh water to reproduce, but vary in the amount of moisture they require for day-to-day survival. Fowler's toads can actually tolerate low levels of salinity and are able to absorb moisture from their environment directly through their skin. This decreased dependence on fresh water explains their larger range and ability to survive in most of island's habitats.
Despite the limited number of species present on Assateague Island, amphibians play a key role in the ecosystem, preying on a wide variety of insects and helping to maintain balance in those populations.
Did You Know?
...that instead of needing to keep her eggs warm, the beach-nesting piping plover will stand over her eggs on hot days to shade them and keep them cool.