Salamander Migration Underway

Apr 5, 2017

Credit By Matt Reinbold from USA (Fishface) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

April showers mean tiger salamanders are now migrating in much of Wyoming.

The species spends the winter underground and in basements, but with recent warm temperatures and evening rains, they are currently moving to breeding habitats near ponds and lakes.

Cody Porter, a PhD student in the University of Wyoming’s ecology program, said that the Western tiger salamander can be found in most parts of the state, even when temperatures are low. If there is a riparian area in your community, you might be able to see them on wetter nights. 

One example is in the neighborhoods around Laramie’s LaBonte Park pond.

“The single best way to find them is walk along the sidewalks immediately surrounding Labonte at night bringing a flashlight or a lamp or something,” Porter said. “You can spot them even if you’re just driving on the roads pretty slowly.”

The amphibians are about six inches long, and olive green with black spots. Porter says he has spotted a few salamanders on the road that had been smashed by cars, and encourages people to drive carefully so they don’t hit them.