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An integral part of rare’s Ecological Monitoring program

A Research Coordinator holds a juvenile Eastern Red-backed salamander. Photo courtesy of J. Quinn

A salamander monitoring program was initiated in 2006 in Ancient Woods in accordance with Ecological Monitoring and Assessment (EMAN) protocols. Twenty-nine salamander cover boards were placed 5 m apart beside a vernal pond (small pond that may dry up in the summer). Three more boards were added to this matrix in 2009. Weekly counts and measurements of salamanders under boards are completed over nine weeks in September and October. Climatic measurements including soil moisture content, soil temperature, air temperature, humidity and wind speed are also measured. A new set of 20 salamander boards was established in 2008 in the Hogsback forest/wetland complex in the southeastern portion of rare. The vast majority of salamanders observed under the boards are Eastern Red-backed Salamanders (and the Lead-backed morph of this species) but Blue-spotted Salamanders, Four-toed Salamanders and Spotted Salamanders have also been observed.

Click on any of the following to learn more about other rare ecological monitoring programs:

Benthic Invertebrates



Forest Health

Forest Soils


For more information on ecological monitoring at rare, please contact our Research Department at (519) 650-9336 x 111