Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

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Chance2Crowns
Posts: 4
Joined: January 30th, 2024, 10:20 am

Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Chance2Crowns »

Hey all!

I am new here so first off, hi! I'm Chance, herper in my junior year of college out of western Maryland. I've been herping all my life and now that I've got some disposable income and a little bit of free time I'm trying to plan bigger outings. This has culminated in taking my spring break and trying to turn it into an Appalachian Salamander Extravaganza! I plan to drive down to North West GA and work my way back up the Apps trying to hit as many species as possible. I've tried to plan things out to the best of my ability (the amount of Excel spreadsheets I've created is honestly embarrassing), however, as this is an area I am entirely inexperienced with I am trying to seek out any advice, especially given that this is probably not an opportune time of year to be searching, I wanted to be as informed and efficient as possible. Any tips, tricks, and especially locales to check out would be very appreciated!!
Chance2Crowns
Posts: 4
Joined: January 30th, 2024, 10:20 am

Re: Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Chance2Crowns »

Totally slipped my mind before I pressed the post button but I suppose I should tell you guys my targets/what ideas I've already got. Sorry!

Main targets:
-P. jordani
-P. ventralis
-E. lucifuga
-E. guttolineata
-E. wilderae
-D. imitator
-D. wrighti
-Ps. montanus
-Anything else (its all new to me so I'm not too picky lol)

Possible locales(?):
-Linnville wilderness
-Stone Mountain State Park
-Chimney Rock
-Baskins Creek Falls
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Jefferson
Posts: 184
Joined: March 2nd, 2014, 6:50 am
Location: Southwest Missouri

Re: Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Jefferson »

What days is your spring break?
Chance2Crowns
Posts: 4
Joined: January 30th, 2024, 10:20 am

Re: Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Chance2Crowns »

Well, that would be helpful knowledge eh? hahaha

March 16-24

Sorry for not including that originally.
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Jefferson
Posts: 184
Joined: March 2nd, 2014, 6:50 am
Location: Southwest Missouri

Re: Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Jefferson »

No worries!

Mid-March is really, really early for most stuff in Appalachia in my experience. You get some early-season low-elevation Plethodon out, like P. hoffmani in Virginia/WV and Zigzags anywhere (they can even be found in January), and of course streams will have the more common desmogs in them at any time of year, but I can't recall having seen any Plethodon above 2,000' until much later in spring. Usually it's late April/early May before the high-elevation stuff comes out in Tennessee/NC, and mid-May before you're really safe from late-season frosts that drive the really high up stuff (Weller's, Red-cheeked, Pygmy) back underground temporarily on colder days. Same goes for the woodland Eurycea at high elevation, but streamside stuff should be out down low, and if you can find caves where temperature normalizes, E. lucifuga shouldn't be hard.

Maybe other folks have had more success in March, but that's been my experience. That early, I would stick to your aquatic targets and just a few low-elevation woodland things like ventralis (and Webster's if you go slightly deeper into Georgia).

Jefferson
Chance2Crowns
Posts: 4
Joined: January 30th, 2024, 10:20 am

Re: Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Chance2Crowns »

Thank you for the advice Jefferson! It's very much appreciated. I'll stick to the low-lands and do some stream stompin'. I'll also check out Webster's, I've never heard of them before so that's exciting at least. I'll be watching the weather intently, maybe I'll get lucky and a warm spell might coalesce with my dates but I appreciate the realistic report.
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Jefferson
Posts: 184
Joined: March 2nd, 2014, 6:50 am
Location: Southwest Missouri

Re: Seeking Spring Break Appalachian Salamander Trip Advice

Post by Jefferson »

Not a problem; good luck down there!
Jefferson
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