• Students at South Peak

    Marsh - Billings - Rockefeller

    National Historical Park Vermont

Amphibians

salamander

salamander

A Anderson

While some amphibians may look similar to reptiles, their moist skin sets them apart. The lives of frogs, toads, and salamanders, like the ones found within the park, are tied to water, so many can be found near streams or hidden under damp leaf litter. Because they are very sensitive to changes in their environment, the salamanders here in the park are part of a research study that looks to better understand how environmental changes effect salamander populations. The park's resource managers place boards out over a test area that the salamanders burrow under; the resource managers can then simply lift the boards and count the salamanders to get an idea of the size and health of the overall population. Often school groups are able to assist with this project. The park hopes that through this research, we can better help and protect salamander populations.
 
Salamander graphic

Link to the Park's multimedia page to view a student salamander monitoring video.

 

Amphibians in Winter

Mammals are not the only animals to use hibernation as a way to survive winter. Amphibians, like frogs and salamanders, have evolved with some very unique ways of surviving the cold. Many amphibians will spend the time underwater or, like salamanders, go deep underground in tunnels made by small mammals. Wood frogs and the spring peepers will often spend their winters in deep cracks in logs and rocks or the might bury themselves as far as they can in leaf litter to avoid the frosts. Unfortunately, sometimes even these protected places can freeze, but yet the amphibian doesn't die. This is because of special chemicals in their bodies similar to anti-freeze that allows them to survive nearly frozen during the winter. While their hearts have stopped beating and they are not breathing, these frogs will thaw out when spring arrives, and continue on with their lives, as good as new.

Did You Know?

A man dressed all in white is contrasted by the dark and knobbly bark of spruce trees. Published in American Forests magazine in 1910.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP and Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt NHS have in common a passion for trees! Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller has the oldest sustainably managed woodland in North America. FDR, an amateur forester, personally supervised the planting of hundreds of trees on his Hyde Park estate.