Journal archives for December 2018

December 02, 2018

Pacific Newt Roadkill: 59 found dead today; 5 alive

December 1, 2018 (Saturday)
There were 59 dead newts on Alma Bridge Rd. today: 50 fresh and 9 partially decomposed.

I saw 3 live California Newts along the trails at St. Joseph's Hill OSP on Saturday (12/1/2018) and 2 in Sierra Azul OSP on Sunday (12/2/2018). (Hiked with Karen to water cistern. Found 2 live newts.)

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/12/1
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/12/2

Other Roadkill: House Finch

Coverage: (9%) Between Limekiln & Priest Rock trailheads. Although this is a small section of road, it has the highest mortality rate.

Rainfall: (MTD: 0.22; YTD: 3.7 in.) It rained on Tues, Wed, Thrs, and Sat this week. The water level in the reservoir has risen considerably and nearby streams now have running water.

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information. Based on the decomposition study, we now know that newts killed within the past 2-3 days still have bright orange or yellow undersides and/or bright red blood is present. I also collect data for partially decomposed bodies, but if they don’t fit the criteria for newly dead, I compare the pictures with previous days before adding to the project to ensure there aren’t duplicates and the count is accurate.

Posted on December 02, 2018 03:50 by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 15, 2018

Pacific Newt Roadkill: 22 found dead today; 4 alive

December 14, 2018 (Friday)
I hiked for about an hour at El Sereno OSP. It was very windy and stormy up there. I didn't see any newts (alive or dead).

I also hiked the Limekiln / Priest Rock loop at Sierra Azul. It was blustery, cold, and drizzly, so I hoped to find a bunch of live newts. I was disappointed to find only 4 on my 4-hour hike there.

I found 22 dead newts on Alma Bridge Rd. between Priest Rock and Limekiln trailheads this morning. All of these were decomposed and older than 2 days. I compared the pictures with all previous observations to ensure I didn’t add any duplicates to the project. The last time I did a roadkill count on this section of Alma Bridge Rd. was two weeks ago (Dec. 1, 2018).

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/12/14

I set up a subproject to track decomposed carcasses so I can get a better idea of how old they are and whether or not to include them in the project.

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pacific-newts-decomp-study-lexington-reservoir-area

Coverage: (9%) Between Limekiln & Priest Rock trailheads. Although this is a small section of road, it has the highest mortality rate.

Rainfall: (MTD: 0.61 in; YTD: 4.09 in) There has only been 0.37 inches of rain since the last time I did a roadkill count for this section of road (2 weeks). It’s been dry since Dec. 6th, hence all the desiccated carcasses.

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information: fresh vs. decomposed carcasses, % Coverage, Rainfall, links to observations & project.

Posted on December 15, 2018 16:47 by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 20, 2018

Pacific Newt Roadkill: 52 found dead today; no live ones seen

December 19, 2018 (Wednesday)
I've heard that there is a similar roadkill problem on Montevina Rd., so I did a spot check this morning and found 14 decomposed newt carcasses at 3 pull-outs. It appears that the roadkill problem is not nearly as bad on the east side of Highway 17.

Found 38 newt carcasses on Alma Bridge Rd. between Limekiln Trailhead and Douglas B. Miller Memorial Point (22 fresh; 16 decomposed).
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/12/19

Coverage: (~18%) Covered the road between Limekiln trailhead & Douglas B. Miller Memorial Point in the 2 hours I had available.

Rainfall: (MTD: 2.27 in; YTD: 5.75 in) 1.67 inches of rain between 12/14/18 and 12/19/18

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information: fresh vs. decomposed carcasses, % Coverage, Rainfall, and link to observations.

Posted on December 20, 2018 03:29 by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 24, 2018

Pacific Newt Roadkill: 192 found dead today; no live ones seen

December 23, 2018 (Sunday)
Today I drove around Lexington Reservoir and stopped at all pull-outs on Alma Bridge Rd. to take a count of dead newts on the road. I also hiked the Limekiln / Priest Rock loop. I didn’t see a single live newt during this 6 hr. trek.

This is the first time I’ve taken a count south of Soda Spring Canyon. There were a lot of dead newts there (176). In places I’ve already visited this month, I only counted the newly deceased newts.

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/12/23
(photos of dead newts were originally submitted in groups of 10 per observation, but later decoupled)

Coverage: (86%) Aldercroft Heights Rd. to Limekiln Trailhead (reverse direction)

Rainfall: (MTD: 2.27 in; YTD: 5.75 in) We're expecting more rain in the next couple of days.

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information: fresh vs. decomposed carcasses, % Coverage, Rainfall, and link to observations.

Posted on December 24, 2018 01:49 by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 26, 2018

Pacific Newt Roadkill: 114 found dead today; 5 Alive; 2 Injured

December 25, 2018 (Tuesday)
I added 98 newly dead (bright orange/yellow belly). There were also 29 partially decomposed carcasses, so I had to compare those to previous observations to make sure they weren’t duplicates. This was a tedious and time-consuming procedure involving hundreds of visual comparisons, but I figured it was worth the time spent in order to have accurate roadkill numbers. (I ended up adding 16 of the 29 to the project.)

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/truthseqr/2018/12/25
(photos of dead newts were originally submitted in groups of 10 per observation, but later decoupled)

It rained yesterday (Dec 24), so I was expecting to see more than 5 live newts. I figured there would be more roadkill, but I was astounded at the carnage - 114 new carcasses since Dec 23 (two days ago). There were 2 injured newts that probably won’t make it.

Other Roadkill: Columbian Black-tailed Deer

Coverage: (52%) Today I surveyed Alma Bridge Rd. between St. Joseph's Hill OSP and Soda Springs Rd.

Rainfall: (MTD: 2.73 in; YTD: 6.21 in)

Note: This journal post was updated on 02/10/2019 with the latest information: fresh vs. decomposed carcasses, % Coverage, Rainfall, and link to observations.

Posted on December 26, 2018 03:54 by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment