The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program will offer a training session for volunteers of its “Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings” project next Thursday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at NYSDEC’s office at 21 South Putt Corners Road in New Paltz. Since 2009, more than 150 volunteers throughout the Hudson Valley have documented thousands of spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and other amphibians as they move across roads during breeding migrations. These forest amphibians emerge from underground during rainy nights in early spring and move to woodland pools, a type of small wetland that is typically dry in summer. Migration distances can vary from a few hundred feet to more than a quarter of a mile, so amphibians often encounter roads on their journey. Mortality can be high, even in low‐traffic areas.
Volunteers can help by documenting when and where they see migrations and by helping move amphibians safely across roads. Many of the species that breed in woodland pools are of conservation concern due to habitat loss and fragmentation. The free March 8 training will help volunteers sharpen their amphibian identification skills and review data collection methods. Participants are encouraged to arrive at 5:30 p.m. for refreshments and networking. Registration is required. Call 256-3827 for more information or registration.