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