February Finds: Two Species of Salamanders

On a short walk along South Park Drive last weekend in the hills above Berkeley we made some pretty interesting finds: a Yellow-eyed Ensatina and a California Slender Salamander.

Each November through March, South Park Drive in Tilden Regional Park is closed to automobiles due to California Newt and Rough-skinned Newt migration. The newts migrate to nearby ponds, such as the Japanese Pool at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, in order to mate and lay eggs.

South Park Drive Newt Sign

We decided to take a short walk along South Park Drive to see if we could catch a newt or two crossing the road. While we were unable to spot any newts, we made two other finds off the side of the road.

Under a damp log off to the side of the road, we found a small, tightly-coiled juvenile California Slender Salamander.

California Slender Salamander Juvenile

California Slender Salamander Juvenile near South Park Drive

Overturning another nearby log revealed a juvenile Yellow-eyed Ensatina.

Yellow-eyed Ensatina Juvenile

Yellow-eyed Ensatina Juvenile near South Park Drive

Both these species of salamander become more active during the wet season – the current months offer a great opportunity to spot them.

Find more information about the San Francisco Bay Area’s amphibians at sfbaywildlife.info.

This entry was posted in Amphibian, Places, Trip Report and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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  • By Salamanders at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park on 20 March 2011 at 1:41 am

    […] We’ve seen several amphibian species here before including California Slender Salamanders, Yellow-eyed Ensatinas, California Newts and Western Toads so I figured I had a good chance to find something interesting. Also see our post about salamanders in Tilden. […]

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