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Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander

In Freshwater, Reptiles and Amphibians, Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, Slough Life by Administrator

Elkhorn Slough Reserve, Cattail Swale, and other freshwater ponds in the watershed SCLTS only live for about 10 years. The coastal terrace along Monterey Bay is a unique terrestrial landscape that provides shelter to one of the rarest vertebrates in North America: the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander (SCLTS). This relictual species was first discovered along Bonita Drive in Aptos in …

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Arboreal Salamander

In Agricultural and Residential, Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

Among our western salamanders, Arboreal Salamanders send our thoughts aloft with only the mention of their name. Salamanders that climb trees? Indeed they do. The Arboreal Salamander Arboreal Salamanders (Aneides lugubris) are members of the lungless salamander family. They breathe through their moist skin. In order to keep their skin moist, they must stay under cover for much of the …

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Salamander Breeding Confirmed

In ESNERR, Freshwater, Reptiles and Amphibians, Staff Blog by Dave Feliz

The Elkhorn Slough crew has been working on creating fresh water wetlands in an interesting way. We haven’t had standing water on the surface for four years due to the drought. We embarked on a project to construct ponds and install pond liners to hold water more efficiently. We also devised ways to capture rain water and store it for …

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California Tiger Salamander

In ESNERR, Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog by Dave Feliz

It started with a photograph on Facebook posted by wildlife rescue expert Rebecca Dmytryk. Her husband Duane had found a California Tiger Salamander in their driveway. We were pretty sure this species was found in our watershed but not certain. A couple of days later, Reserve worker Mike Curthoys told me he saw them on Strawberry Road. Two nights later …

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Newts

In Freshwater, Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

The crowd has worked themselves into a frenzy, convinced the lady they’ve cornered is a witch. John Cleese’s character provides the final bit of evidence. “She turned me into a newt.” The crowd is silenced, looking at his obvious non newt like condition………………..”I got better.”   Why do newts come to mind when witchcraft is parodied? Why is “eye of …

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Ensatina

In Reptiles and Amphibians, Slough Life, Staff Blog, Woodlands by Dave Feliz

As day lengths fade and evening temperatures chill, our first autumn rains cannot be far away. In our dry summer Mediterranean climate, this is a rebirth of that ancient animal group, the amphibians. For most amphibians, their skin serves a respiratory function and must be kept moist. During our dry periods, they spend most of their time below the surface …

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Gopher Snake

In Grasslands and Scrub, Reptiles and Amphibians by Dave Feliz

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that look up when walking on a trail and those that look down. Of course, a good naturalist looks everywhere and sight is just one of the many tools to observe the natural world. But this morning, I am looking down. The sun is out, highs in the mid 70’s, …

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Science in Action: Threatened Amphibians of Elkhorn Slough

In California red-legged frog, Freshwater, Reptiles and Amphibians, Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, Science in Action Article by Administrator

October 2004 by Kerstin Wasson, ESNERR Reseach Coordinator In the past years, we have documented a dramatic decline in California Red-legged Frog (CRLF) populations on the Reserve. On summer nights at the end of the last millennium, the eyeshine of hundreds of CRLF could be seen in the beam of a flashlight, and the waters teemed with their tadpole young. …