Spring is beginning to spring here in New England. We've had some warm weather mixed in with some deep freezes, but our amphibian amigos are out and about!
Red-backed salamanders belong to a family of lungless salamanders called Plethodontidae. Many of these salamanders live their whole lives on land, and since they breathe through their skin (no lungs, remember!), they need to keep their skin moist by spending their time hidden under leaves, rocks and logs. We use small wooden squares called 'cover boards' set up in a grid to mimic natural cover and track salamander populations.
It is still pretty cold out there (there's snow in the woods in some places), so not all the little red-backs are back in action. Stay tuned for some write ups on the Research page about the details of my field research, and all the info you never knew you needed about salamanders. But for now, enjoy a few pictures!