- Land Use
- Vernal Pools
Welcome to the Amphibian Crossing Brigade page! If you would like to be kept up to date on the Spring crossing dates, please send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . This activity is coordinated with the Town of Littleton Conservation Department.
We have the Amphibian Crossing Brigade Handbook which hopefully will answer most of your questions. We do want to stress that this will be an open road on a rainy night, so while kids are more than welcome, they must have their own flashlights, safety vests, and adults!
We ask that you fill out Consent Forms for both Acton and Littleton and get them to us ahead of time (a scan is preferable). Littleton forms can also be filled out on-line here.
Here are some identification sheets. I'm assuming we will mostly be seeing wood frogs, spring peepers and hopefully spotted salamanders. A Jefferson or blue-spotted salamander would be a huge bonus!
Here is a Data Sheet, which might be hard to handle in the rain, so you can also make up your own way of keeping count. The sites (at least for now) can just be called Fort Pond Road, Arlington Street and Depot Road. Report your counts back to me so I can keep track. BUT, especially along Fort Pond Road, if you find salamanders let me know approximately where you found them (ie near a certain mailbox, ATT easement, Sarah Indian Way...)
For more info on vernal pools in general, try the Vernal Pool Association as a start. Mass Audubon also has a lot of info, including the sounds of wood frogs chorusing (quacking!). MACC also has this Vernal Pool slide show that is very good.
Once our spring time work is done and we have your counts, we will be reporting them all together to sites such as this.
Annual Amphibian Brigade Reports:
2019: On March 29th we had 12 people on Fort Pond Road in Acton and Littleton and we moved 254 frogs and salamanders! On March 31 we had 16 people and we moved 151 frogs and salamanders. Great effort!
2020: Much earlier this year, with many scattered nights. Our two busiest nights were March 3 and March 10. This season volunteers crossed a total of 335 frogs and salamanders. Three vernal pools on the Sarah Doublet property were certified.
2021: From March 18 to March 28 we crossed 219 wood frogs, 92 spring peppers, 16 spotted salamanders and 2 Jefferson complex salamanders along Fort Pond Road. It was a tough year with little rain despite warm weather so there may have been many more crossings. People expanded to Arlington Street in Acton which has a pretty high kill rate with over 50 frogs crossed; and to Depot Road in Boxborough with 23 wood frogs and 1 spotted salamander reported.
2022: From March 7 to March 24 we safely crossed 180 live wood frogs (counted 38 dead), 114 live spring peepers (counted 18 dead), 13 spotted salamanders (counted 1 dead), 4 Jefferson-complex salamanders (counted 1 dead) and 2 red-backed salamanders (counted 1 dead) along Fort Pond Road. Arlington Street volunteers crossed 18 wood frogs (counted 51 dead), 13 spring peepers (counted 4 dead), 10 spotted salamanders (counted another 10 dead), 3 red-backed salamanders and 10 four-toed salamanders. Depot Rd/Boxborough had a tough year with volunteers but crossed 2 wood frogs (counted 12 dead), 42 spring peepers, a spotted salamander (1 dead) and 2 dead red-backed salamanders. That’s over 400 live frogs and salamanders helped across the roads - great work! Sadly we counted over 150 dead; so there's always room for more saves next year!