Journal archives for November 2018

November 30, 2018

First Roadkill Sightings at Lexington Reservoir (Nov. 2017)

November 12, 2017
I saw 6 dead newts on Alma Bridge Rd. between Limekiln and Priest Rock trailheads.
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2017/11/12

46 dead animals on South Bay roadways


January 15, 2018
I'm very sad and disturbed to report that I saw 46 dead animals on South Bay roadways today. This is twice as many dead animals in one day as I observed in the whole of 2017.
• 42 (yes, forty-two!!) Pacific Newts
• 3 raccoons
• 1 striped skunk

The raccoons were killed on Highway 17 in Los Gatos. The skunk was on Hwy 237 in Sunnyvale. The 42 newts were killed on Alma Bridge Rd. at Lexington Reservoir between the Limekiln and Priest Rock trailheads (0.6 mile). Many were bloody with guts oozing out, which was really quite traumatizing to see. I only photographed 7 of the 42 to post on iNaturalist.org. That's 48 dead newts within a 3-month period, but more accurately during 2 visits to Sierra Azul, on a very short section of roadway.
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/1/15

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is working along with other authorities to create safe corridors for wildlife. See Midpeninsula Regional Openspace District's website: "HIGHWAY 17 WILDLIFE PASSAGE" project to help protect animals from humans.
https://www.openspace.org/our-work/projects/wildlife-crossing

2017-2018 Newt Migration Season at Lexington Reservoir - Roadkill


January 21, 2018
I went back to Lexington Reservoir to do a more extensive count of newts killed along Alma Bridge Road from the St. Joseph Hill OSP parking lot to Soda Springs Road (4.3 miles total).

I found a total of 457 newt carcasses on the road in various stages of decomposition. There weren't as many "fresh" carcasses as last week. This count is probably inclusive of the 42 carcasses I saw last week between Limekiln and Priest Rock trailheads (0.6 mile).

Since I don't know how long it takes a newt carcass to decompose, I don't know the timeframe for these deaths (a few weeks? a few months?), but I would guess they all happened this season.

Things I noticed:
• There were clusters of carcasses around drainages from the hillside.
• Most carcasses were found on the left side of the road (uphill side) when traveling south.
• Not surprisingly, there were also clusters of carcasses near the trailheads and parking lots, where the traffic is heaviest.
• There were many fewer carcasses after the Los Gatos Rowing Club entrance, when traffic thins out.

I have photos of these 457 newt carcasses if anyone needs them for proof. (I'll probably have newt zombie nightmares after seeing all these dead bodies.)

P.S. I didn't see a single live newt during my 4.5 hour hike this morning.

Reference:
Best management practices for mitigating the effects of roads on amphibian and reptile populations:
https://postbox.box.com/s/bierhcr5fs25l583qavqvornkfaancnx

Posted on November 30, 2018 03:07 AM by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

2018-2019 Migration Season Starts: Newts are on the move

November 22, 2018 (Thursday)
The rainy season started on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. We've had 4 days of rain and more is expected in the coming week. Newts are on the move.

On Thursday I hiked the Limekiln / Priest-Rock loop at Sierra Azul OSP and found 9 live newts. No deaths to report on Alma Bridge Rd.

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/11/22

Rainfall: (MTD: 0.8 in; YTD: 0.88 in)

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information. Added rainfall metrics and a link to observations for this date.

Pacific Newt Roadkill: 1 found dead today; 6 alive


November 25, 2018 (Sunday)
I hiked the Limekiln Trail and found 7 newts: 6 were alive in the forest and 1 was dead on Alma Bridge Rd. This is the first mortality of the 2018-2019 migration season.

Water is running in parts of Limekiln Creek now and there are several large pools of water in the creek-bed.

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/11/25

Coverage: (9%) Between Limekiln & Priest Rock trailheads.

Rainfall: (MTD: 1.53 in; YTD: 1.61 in.)

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information. Added coverage (of the study area), rainfall metrics and a link to observations for this date.

Posted on November 30, 2018 03:08 AM by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment