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Old 03-19-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
 
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Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default 87 dessicated salamanders

I wonder if the quick thaw had anything to do with this or just too much salt build-up. Whatever some thinking must be done about salt use in these sensitive areas. Hope a solution is agreed upon.

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When Cecil and I first noticed a dried-up salamander in the parking lot, we felt bad for it, as an individual. But then we spotted another, and another, and on a quick walk down the pavement to her car, rushing to a next appointment, we counted 62 little cadavers. (I stopped back yesterday, on another mission, and counted 25 more on a part of the pavement we hadn't walked. So we documented at least 87 deaths. Certainly there were many more; we didn't search systematically or cover the whole paved and salty area.)
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:45 PM   #2
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Really sad to hear about all those deaths.

On the positive side there must be some really good habitat for salamanders in that area. And even though it appears that some human carelessness may have caused the death of so many salamanders it seems that there will be a concerned effort by the Forest Preserve staff to prevent it from happening in the future.
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In response to my email on the first 62 tragedies, I got a quick call back from Forest Preserve staff. Chief ecologist Chip O'Leary came out and bagged a lot of evidence. He was as concerned as we were. There will be an investigation. We'll report here what we learn.
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To our surprise, parallel lines of cleanliness seem to indicate that the drives and parking areas have been swept with some kind of street-sweeper. This is fast work, as the staff only got our message two days ago. The machine does seem to have swept up a lot of the salt, although some areas still have quite a bit.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:39 PM   #3
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There are places in Ohio where roads are closed when the salamanders are migrating. I believe it is the state that made the special highway signs that block the roads.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:14 PM   #4
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Stinks, probably adults headed to breed
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