268 Pacific Newts found dead today; no live ones seen

January 19, 2019 (Saturday)
I found 268 fresh newt carcasses (i.e., belly was bright orange/yellow and/or there was bright red blood).
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2019/1/19

I also found 140 partially decomposed carcasses. I'll have to compare these with previous observations to make sure no duplicates are added to the project. This might take several days or weeks. Just be aware that the count could jump up to 408 for this date, if all the decomposed ones are added to the project in the coming weeks.

I also saw a broad-footed mole dead on the road (DOR).

Rainfall: 1.18" since I last did a roadkill count. Total rainfall for Jan: 4.34"

Traffic: There was a steady flow of traffic to and from the Los Gatos Rowing Club (not a safe time to be taking roadkill pictures). @merav joined me for the roadkill count between Limekiln and Priest Rock Trailheads. I also surveyed St. Joseph's Hill OSP to Aldercroft Heights Rd. (4.1 miles total). Traffic was not so bad once I got past the rowing club entrance. Lots of bikes and joggers on the road today as well.

Question: what does a newt look like after it's been run over by 100 vehicles?

Posted on January 20, 2019 12:50 AM by truthseqr truthseqr


You're doing such a great job, Anne! It was really interesting learning more about this problem. By the way - I was there again in the afternoon for a hike, and was surprised to see that almost all the newts we saw in the morning just by the limekiln trailhead were gone. In the morning there were at least 10 dead newts. By 4 pm they were all gone, but 1 that was still there.

Posted by merav over 4 years ago (Flag)

Hi Merav,
This is very important information. It suggests that the number of deaths may be significantly under-reported. Good thing I do my roadkill counts first thing in the morning.

What do you think is causing the newt carcasses to disappear? Too many run-overs by multiple cars? Scavengers? The wind?

Posted by truthseqr over 4 years ago (Flag)

I would think too many cars, and possibly some predation - maybe crows?

Posted by merav over 4 years ago (Flag)

I've made you an administrator of the project so you can make journal posts of information like this. It will be important to keep track of. Also, if you took pictures of the live newts, please feel free to add them to the project "Pacific Newts (Alive) - Lexington Reservoir Area". Also, please add your observations about the live newts as a journal post to that project or the umbrella project (or both). Thanks so much for your support and your willingness to get out there and do something about the carnage.

Posted by truthseqr over 4 years ago (Flag)

Thank you @finatic and @biohexx1 for sharing this article. It's always encouraging to hear about communities that care enough to take proactive steps to protect wildlife.
I wish I could convince the Board of Supervisors and residents at Lexington to do something similar to save the newts.

Posted by truthseqr about 4 years ago (Flag)

I saw that too. I think it is encouraging. We still have a long way to go, but I think this project is the right way to go, in addition to advocacy. I know it is very frustrating seeing all the dead newts, but these things take time. I hope we'll get there too.

Posted by merav about 4 years ago (Flag)

Dear Hector,

Thank you for writing to PETA about animals harmed during development. We share your concern about this important issue.

We encourage you to contact local legislators to discuss the problems with this development and also to attend any public meetings about it. For information about wild animals that might be helpful, please see http://www.PETA.org/issues/wildlife/.

Another organization that works on wildlife issues (including wild animal emergencies) is The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). We encourage you to contact the wildlife experts at HSUS by calling 202-452-1100 or filling out the form at http://www.humanesociety.org/forms/contact_us/contact_us_humanesociety_web_site.html?credit=web_globalfooter_id91819288.

You can also contact the Sierra Club, which might be able to provide you with further guidance or know of local groups that you can contact to learn more about what you can do to help. Call 415-977-5500 or e-mail information@sierraclub.org.

For more ideas about ways to help animals, please visit http://www.PETA.org/action/. To make a donation to PETA, please go to http://www.PETA.org/donate.

Thanks again for contacting us and for everything that you do to help animals.


Katherine Nunez
Membership Correspondent
PETA Foundation

Posted by biohexx1 about 4 years ago (Flag)

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