Sunday, April 8, 2007

Wood Frogs Calling

4/7/07 - Heard Wood Frogs calling in Cold Spring Park. It was very cold and they weren't calling much. Although abundant throughout Massachusetts, the Wood Frog is extremely rare in Newton, apparently only breeding in Cold Spring Park (see upcoming article on Newton vernal pools). Interestingly, in my experience, Wood Frogs seem to be less likely than spotted salamanders to persist in urban forest fragments-- even when suitable breeding pools are present. This could be for a number of reasons: (1) Wood frogs need forested wetlands (often with streams) for feeding, vernal pools for breeding, and forested uplands for overwintering. Spotted salamanders just need forested uplands and vernal pools. With past ditching of streams and wetland filling, there aren't that many smaller forest fragments with all three habitat types; (2) Spotted Salamanders are longer lived-- populations of this species are less likely to go locally extinct as a result of stochastic processes (e.g. a few bad breeding years in a row).

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