South section - 1/11/2023

Wednesday, 9:20-11:55 am. 0 live newt, 108 dead newts.
Weather: cold, wet - it was raining the entire time, as part of another endless rain event.
Coverage: the first stop sign toAldercroft Heights intersection. I walked with Keith. It was hard getting there today - the way to the south section (from HW 17) was blocked due to downed powerlines. We drove the long way in, and decided to park by the stop sign, to reduce our time driving ABR.
Newts: we had 108 dead newts, 9 of them juveniles. 35 of the newts (6 Juveniles) were found on the reservoir side, and 73 (3 juveniles) on the hill side.
Other roadkills: slugs - possibly one or two, 2 toads, a bullfrog, a tree frog.
Traffic: 26 cars, 12 trucks, 0 motorcycles, 1 bike, 14 pedestrians, 12 parked car. The road was busy, with a construction crew of about 4 trucks clearing the road from plant material, rocks, and soil. Also saw the scraper track driving the road when I left.
We had 1 conversation with concerned neighbor, who lives up Soda Spring.
My observations of the day -

Posted on January 12, 2023 01:12 AM by merav merav


@merav, it seems as if fewer newts deaths are being reported this year than in previous years. I'm wondering if this is due to our crazy rainy weather, fewer surveys, or newt population decline? I also wonder if the baby newts sensed the massive amount of rain coming at us this season and that's why there's been an exponential increase in the number of dead juveniles this season? What an interesting population study! No two years are the same.
P.S. I'm surprised you were even able to get to Lexington Reservoir considering the mud slides & road closures. You're so dedicated! Be safe out there.

Posted by truthseqr 5 months ago (Flag)

@truthseqr, I keep thinking about the weird numbers this season. It began with very high numbers, mostly juveniles. Now we see pretty low numbers, and I wonder why that is. I think the rain might be washing some of the individual, or breaking them until we can no longer document them. Even though I post many photos that no longer look like much, I skip many others, that are even less clear. But that would maybe add 25%, probably less. Another option is that fewer cars are using the road, killing fewer newts = yay. I think due to the heavy rains fewer people are using the trails, boat club, fishing, etc. I wonder if residents take fewer trips? I know up in Soda Springs residents lost power this week. It was restored last night. All this could impact traffic and therefore newt numbers. If we had the capacity to go twice a week, we could have had a clearer database.
The other option is that we are viewing the population collapse. Hopefully that's not the case. We need to keep in mind that nothing has been done to improve newt movement yet, even though people are working on it right now.
I'm also glad we are still able to get there (and back!). I was there today - will post about it soon.

Posted by merav 5 months ago (Flag)

@merav, it's very puzzling. In previous years you all found up to 400-500 dead newts per survey in December and January. Now there are only between 100-200. Yes, it could be due to less traffic, but one car driving down that road at night at the right time could kill hundreds. I truly hope the population is not collapsing. I wish the committee would work faster on a solution.

Posted by truthseqr 5 months ago (Flag)

@truthseqr I agree with everything you wrote...

Posted by merav 5 months ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments