newt survey 2/07 - southern half (Aldercroft)

147 dead newts, 0 live newts.
February 7, 2020 (Friday) 12:45pm-3:30pm
Weather: Dry, sunny, 65F, gorgeous. Had been dry for at least the previous week.
Other roadkill: 1 large beetle larva, 1 tiny bat!
Coverage: Aldercroft Heights Road intersection to stop sign.
Rainfall: MTD 0.02in, YTD 15.21in (per
Traffic: around 30 vehicles, 9 bicycles, 1 motorcycle.

Again this time most of the newts were on the east (away from the reservoir) side. Only one was fresh. It's been quite dry so I suspect many of them were duplicates, as it seems like they tend to become mummified "crackers" if there's no rain. Detachable cracker ones I kicked well off the road into the leaf litter, so they'll have no chance of being duplicates in the future. This time & the last time I was out (1/31) I took all of my photos with the same orientation of the camera (top side parallel to center road stripe), which I hope will make it easier to compare potential duplicates, which I'll have a go at later this weekend.

Saw a bald eagle being harassed by 3 red-tailed hawks.

Newt map:

Posted by sea-kangaroo sea-kangaroo, February 14, 2020 21:53



Took a first pass through and at least 41 of these were duplicates from 1/31. I haven't subtracted them from the above total yet. I left a comment and link on each one I found. Anne, I assume the duplicates should be left uploaded but just removed from the project? Should I also add the pairs to the Decomp Study?

Posted by sea-kangaroo 6 days ago (Flag)

Thanks for scanning for duplicates, @sea-kangaroo. I wondered out loud a while ago whether this might happen in dry times, and indeed it does. If I need to remove those from the project, just let me know. It also indicates that we might need to do this kind of comparison regularly during these (hopefully not much longer!) dry spells.

Posted by newtpatrol 6 days ago (Flag)

@sea-kangaroo, @newtpatrol, @merav , @anudibranchmom,@joescience1
It's a difficult and very time-consuming chore to try to eliminate duplicates. I really struggled with this issue last year. I'd download all pictures from my camera and put them in one of 2 folders on my computer: fresh or decomposed. I'd compare all decomposed pictures to previous weeks to try to find duplicates. I started taking photos with the newts oriented in the same direction to facilitate comparison ( and I wished for a software comparison tool to help with this). I probably spent hundreds of hours doing photo comparisons. Looking back, I don't think it was worth the effort.

* If you can positively identify duplicates, please add them to the decomposition project.
* Please remove any duplicates from the main project. I would prefer for duplicates to be removed from iNat as well because I'm having a hard time searching for and exporting project data for Dr. Fraser Shilling. (I wish we would've standardized on tags because the export function doesn't allow searching by annotations or fields).

Posted by truthseqr 3 days ago (Flag)

I don't think it's too late to standardize on tags! With search filters & Batch Edit on our own observations I don't think it would be too bad. I could try it out and see how horrible it is. What would be useful tag-wise? "Lexington Newt Survey" + "dead" (or "alive" as applicable)?

Posted by sea-kangaroo 3 days ago (Flag)

Last year I used "newt, dead" or "newt, alive" as tags. Those, along with a date range would allow me to search for all project observations. It would be much easier for you all to do this because you can use batch mode. If I do it, I have to do it one-by-one. Sea-kangaroo, you block others from adding tags, but I think you're using these tags when uploading observations.

Posted by truthseqr 2 days ago (Flag)

@sea-kangaroo, there is an option on the export page to search by project but I can't get it to work. I don't know whether I'm doing something wrong or if there's a bug in the software. Have you ever tried this option?

Posted by truthseqr 2 days ago (Flag)

I tried it with these filled out and it seemed to work (returned Merav's 91 observations + mystery bonus from the day and made a downloadable link):

I had to paste in the entire project url to get the search to work (

I downloaded the CSV and all looks good, except it also mysteriously includes this observation that isn't even in the project!:
Though if I'd set the filters to Merav-only that would've taken care of that.

I have been using "newt, dead" as just how I tag my photos, but not "alive," which I'll add (and I'll check the dead're all actually tagged as such).

Checked in Help and tags can only be added by the owner of the observation, so we have to change them ourselves (which is the most efficient way anyway so works out).

Posted by sea-kangaroo 1 day ago (Flag)

Oh-- would you prefer the duplicates be removed entirely, or just removed from the main project and added to the decomp project? (I guess it depends on whether tagging makes the export more workable)

Posted by sea-kangaroo 1 day ago (Flag)

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