Herping salamanders in Portland

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Xabier Zarate
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Joined: October 3rd, 2022, 10:29 pm
Location: Olympia, Washington

Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by Xabier Zarate »

Hi Everyone,

My name is Xabier I'm 13 about to be 14 and I'm new to the forum. I've looked around for a while but this is my first post. I am going to be in Portland from the 11/19-20. I have some locations I think seem good but I was just looking for tips on things like temps, time of day, and habitat for salamander searching if anyone has any.

Thanks,
Xabier :D
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Paul Freed
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Re: Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by Paul Freed »

Welcome, Xabier! Glad to have you join FHF. Since the weather has been cooperating (in terms of rain and milder temperatures) salamander hunting should be good around Portland. Are there specific species you're looking for or are you content to find just about anything? Obviously, getting away from the city of Portland will greatly increase your chances of finding salamanders. It's best to do your searching during the day. Look for forested or wooded areas and those with some kind of water feature near them (ponds, streams, etc.). If there are any logs, rocks, or even artificial type things like boards, or debris, carefully look under them for any salamanders or other herps (be sure to replace any items you flip back to the way they were to provide habitat for any creatures that may be living there).

Good luck, and if you find anything, think about posting your observations back here to share with everyone.

Cheers,

Paul
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Xabier Zarate
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Joined: October 3rd, 2022, 10:29 pm
Location: Olympia, Washington

Re: Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by Xabier Zarate »

Thank you for the tips Paul
The kind of salamanders I was hoping to spot were the Pacific giant salamander, Northwestern salamander, Dunns salamander, and Oregon slender salamander. If I at least saw one of these species I would be pretty happy. The Oregon slender I heard can be found in a area near Portland and I think I have a good location where I might be able to find them. The others though not not sure on we’re to find them.
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jonathan
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Re: Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by jonathan »

Welcome Xabier!

Forest Park is excellent for Dunn's Salamander, Western Red-backed Salamander, Ensatina, and Coastal Giant Salamander. Flip rocks near streams, replacing carefully. Dunn's will be just outside the water under rocks in damp areas, larval Giant Salamanders will be under rocks in the water. Western Red-backed Salamanders can be found under rocks next to the water or under logs and leaf litter on moist parts of the hillside near the stream. Ensatina are under logs and sometimes leaf litter or rocks, usually not near water. I've been able to find Dunn's and Giants in every stream in Forest Park. You might be able to find an adult giant under logs or other large debris just outside of the streams, but you'll have to get lucky. I've found about a dozen transformed adults in Forest Park but only within select very narrow habitat areas.

Macleay Park and Tyron Creek also have all three species easily. Other forested parks with streams might have those species as well.

There are Northwestern Salamanders in the Halburton area bordering Forest Park but I haven't seen them myself. They're in plenty of other places in Portland too, but the adults are not easy to find. Their breeding habitat is ponds and lakes especially in forested areas. Look under logs on slopes directly uphill of breeding habitat. Though you'll have to get pretty lucky to find a Northwestern Salamander, you might find some Long-toed Salamanders or Rough-skinned Newts in the process.

There are a couple slender salamander localities on the east side of the metro area, and more in the gorge. I'll let you do your own research on that one.


I have brief wildlife guides on my website that do a comprehensive job of showing exactly what species are found in our area. However, since my guides are specific to Columbia County, they're missing a few species that you can find east of Portland (Oregon Slender, Cascade Torrent, and Larch Mountain).

https://wildcolumbia.org/
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Xabier Zarate
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Joined: October 3rd, 2022, 10:29 pm
Location: Olympia, Washington

Re: Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by Xabier Zarate »

Thank you lots Jonathan
Those tips will be super helpful. I definitely will check those areas when I’m in Portland. I will remember to put things back were I found them and when I get back I will make sure to post my find’s. Your blog and wildlife guide look awesome and are super helpful.
Thanks so much for the help :thumb:
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TravisK
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Re: Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by TravisK »

Just curious if you had any luck finding herps while you were in Portland?
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Xabier Zarate
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Location: Olympia, Washington

Re: Herping salamanders in Portland

Post by Xabier Zarate »

Sadly I did not see a lot of stuff down in Portland. I was with other people and do to some of us getting sick we had to go back earlier. I did find though a small ensatina
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I’m going to go on another trip to Florida for winterbrake I don’t know if I’ll see much but I will post my finds if I find anything’s
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