Pain, Agony and no salamanders

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nightdriver
Posts: 427
Joined: August 24th, 2010, 8:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles County

Pain, Agony and no salamanders

Post by nightdriver » April 6th, 2017, 7:52 pm

Hello everyone and thanks for wasting the next four minutes of your life reading this... ;)

Two things:

1. How has your salamander hunting been for those of you in SoCal? Last year I changed job sites to one that is infinitely more suitable to herping. With the rain this winter season, I was looking forward to seeing some sallies near my work. However, despite looking under hundreds of what I thought would be suitable logs, rocks and other debris in prime/suitable habitat, I managed to find nothing of any salamander specie what-so-ever. I managed one sally in a different spot I saw four or five last year. What the heck?

How about you guys?


2. Yesterday I set out to herp my local bit of heaven behind my house in the hopes of finding my second ruber of the year or perhaps something else out on the crawl. After striking out in my first patch of cactus, I passed a couple of guys on the trail that looked like they belonged there about as much as Paris Hilton. I noticed one of them was carrying a small jar about big enough to cram a tarantula in with holes in the lid big enough for even the largest Uta to easily escape from. Soon after I came to my second target area of the evening and instantly noticed that every rock small enough for two people to move had been turned over and completely displaced. All had been fine two nights before. I came to discover that every rock, branch, .... visible from the trail had been moved, rolled and otherwise relocated , broken apart and the micro habitats destroyed. Some rocks were rolled far enough downslope that they will never get back anywhere close to their original location :x I ended up spending the rest of the daylight hours trying to muscle rocks around and back close to their original positions. In all the years I've hiked the area and flipped the few rocks that really seemed suitable(of which I could count without using my toes) I have found maybe one lizard under any of the rocks. Of course, unfortunately, this ends up happening to most of us ecologically minded herpers eventually, and it's not the first time it's happened to one of my favorite spots. The most painful were the TINY little rock outcrops, covered in multi-colored lichens, of which there "were" few to start with, that were completely torn apart. Unfortunately, I didn't get far in replacing rocks, and will likely have many more hours of "repairs" to do... :x :x

-thanks again...

-nightdriver

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Jeremy Wright
Posts: 144
Joined: December 14th, 2015, 4:56 pm

Re: Pain, Agony and no salamanders

Post by Jeremy Wright » April 6th, 2017, 9:13 pm

For me at least, it's been the best year I've ever had. Turned up a couple ensatinas yesterday and have seen over 2 dozen arboreals and ensatinas so far. I'd be happy to take to to a spot that hasn't failed me yet! First trip there this year I turned up 4 arboreals and 3 ensatinas.
Massive bummer about the idiots destroying habitat - thar's a real bummer and it can make us herpers look bad.
-Jeremy

RobertH
Posts: 1834
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Pain, Agony and no salamanders

Post by RobertH » April 8th, 2017, 8:37 am

Nick and I also had a decent salamander season, though not with Jeremy's numbers. A handful of Monterey Ensatina, a few Arboreals, a dozen or so Black-Bellied Slenders, and even 9 San Gabriel Slender Salamanders from the San Gabes, and also close to 20 Large-Blotched Ensatina from SD County. All in all, finding salamanders definitely seemed much easier - in those locations! - than in years past.

But things could be, and probably are, quite different in other locations around SoCal. The spots that produced for us were all in prime habitat and we made sure to go on days when conditions were just right. Plus Nicholas (not so much I, unfortunately :oops: ) has become very good at finding salamanders.

Your story about the torn-up hillside is depressing. We haven't experienced anything like that yet, but I am sure it will eventually happen. It's awesome that you are personally trying to move all of those rocks back into place. Hopefully, these guys won't come back. Since they probably know that they destroyed the place, they shouldn't be back anytime soon.

Robert

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nightdriver
Posts: 427
Joined: August 24th, 2010, 8:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles County

Re: Pain, Agony and no salamanders

Post by nightdriver » April 8th, 2017, 7:08 pm

Thanks for the offer Jeremy.

And Robert, I hope your right about them not coming back.

-nightdriver

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