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SACRAMENTO FWO: Surveying for Endangered Species
California-Nevada Offices , March 11, 2014
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Slender salamander in one of the pit fall traps on the tidal side of the base.
Slender salamander in one of the pit fall traps on the tidal side of the base. - Photo Credit: Amber Aguilera/USFWS
California toad in a pit fall trap. Many toads have been trapped and are a staff favorite.
California toad in a pit fall trap. Many toads have been trapped and are a staff favorite. - Photo Credit: Amber Aguilera/USFWS
This California tiger salamander is too immature to know if it is male or female.
This California tiger salamander is too immature to know if it is male or female. - Photo Credit: Amber Aguilera/USFWS

By Sarah Swenty

Staff members from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sacramento Field Office have been surveying the tidal portion of the Military Ocean Terminal Concord, a military base in Concord, Calif., for the presence of California tiger salamanders (CTS) and California red-legged frog (CRLF).

Currently, there are three sites where pit-fall trap lines have been installed to survey for CTS. Additionally there are numerous aquatic features throughout the base where staff members have been conducting eye-shine surveys for CRLF. Although they have not encountered either species, they have seen many slender salamanders, arboreal salamanders, chorus frogs, and western toads. They have also seen a large variety of wildlife while hiking to the CTS sites in the hills, including coyotes, owls, eagles, rabbits, and a skunk or two!

Although Service staff members have not encountered CTS in the tidal area of the base so far, they did when they were able to observe trapping efforts conducted by an environmental consulting firm on an unrelated project. The captured CTS was photographed so that if it is recaptured it can be identified by its spot pattern.

Service staff will be closing the pit-fall trap lines by March 15, and will then conduct larval surveys per protocol guidance using dip nets. CRLF breeding surveys will be completed every other week through the end March, with one last set of non-breeding surveys that will be completed in the middle of July or later.

For a chance to see more pictures of the animals they find, follow the Pacific Southwest Region on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/usfwspacificsouthwest) and the Sacramento Field Office on Twitter (https://twitter.com/UsfwsSacArea).

Sarah Swenty is the deputy assistant field supervisor of External Affairs at the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office in Sacramento, Calif.


Contact Info: Sarah Swenty, 916-414-6571, sarah_swenty@fws.gov



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