A series on the natural resources within the 1,000-acre forest and the creatures that call them home.
2014 has been declared the Year of the Salamander!
The Partners of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) will fill the year with education and protection activities surrounding these crucial wetland species. Here in Connecticut, we have a special opportunity to help protect them.
Between Long Island Sound and the mouth of the Connecticut River, over 1,000 acres of land represent one of the largest intact blocks of coastal forest in southern New England. Known as The Preserve, this threatened area of land has been previously targeted for development and is now the focus of a campaign by several organizations, including Connecticut Fund for the Environment, aimed at protecting it. For previous postd in this blog series on the resources of The Preserve and the effort to protect it, please click here.
Interspersed throughout The Preserve are 38 vernal pools, a concentration considered to be high and uncommon in Connecticut. Vernal pools contain water for a few months in the spring and early summer, but by late summer are generally dry. A variety of salamanders, frogs, and other animals have evolved to use this type of temporary wetland. Michael Klemens, a renowned herpetologist, says that The Preserve has a “high biomass of vernal pool creatures” and that “one of the vernal pools contains the most biological productivity of any that he has seen in Connecticut.”
The 25 species of amphibians and reptiles on the property include four rare salamanders of conservation concern: the spotted salamander, the marbled salamander, the northern dusky salamander, and the red spotted newt. CFE joins PARC in celebrating these miraculous animals and also calls for the protection of The Preserve, one of the largest and most important salamander habitats remaining in the state.
The greatest threat facing Connecticut’s salamanders is habitat loss. Protecting The Preserve in perpetuity will help save the state’s salamanders too.
Posted by Sarah Ganong, Media Coordinator for Connecticut Fund for the Environment.
Cover Image: National Geographic