Threatened and Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Survey Season Begins!

March 17, 2021

Thaw is upon us! Have you started to hear the harbingers of spring? 🐸

Bird sounds are what many associate with the onset of spring. However, in early spring, just as the snows thaw, singing frogs and dancing salamanders send the message of seasonal change to come. Spring peepers, chorus frogs, and wood frogs are often who we Northeast Ohioans hear first. The following animation has been making the rounds on social media since its debut in 2020 and is an excellent representation of our northern amphibious friends’ phenology.

Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially concerning climate and plant and animal life.

Northwoods Frog Call Phenology – CableMuseum

For EnviroScience, this also signals the beginning of the threatened and endangered turtle survey season. Many of our northern shelled-reptile inhabitants follow along with their amphibian counterparts and start to become active with the first thaw.  Even sometimes basking on ice! The U.S. is home to a wide variety of freshwater turtles (approximately 18% of the world’s turtles). Some of these turtles are endangered or threatened due to illegal collection and trade. Habitat loss and wetland conversion also threaten most.

Out of Ohio’s twelve turtle species, two are listed as state-threatened (Spotted and Blanding’s) and may require agency coordination to complete your project or conduct conservation work. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been petitioned to federally list both species, and their status has been under review since 2015. Spotted and Blanding’s Turtles also have varying state protections across their ranges. Our experienced herpetologists have scientific collection permits and are experts at detecting them in their habitats.

Unisexual Salamanders – EnviroScience

March is an excellent time to check and make sure you are ready regarding coordination for amphibians and reptiles. Have you been holding off requesting a habitat survey? Now is the time to get this on the books so that if a presence survey is needed, it can be completed in the required window (often April/May). Don’t allow threatened and endangered species coordination to delay your warm-season work. Contact our herpetological experts today (Teal Richards-Dimitrie, )