ינואר 22, 2021

January 21, 2021 (Thursday): South Side

January 21, 2021 (Thursday): 7:45 am - 9:30 am
Coverage: Aldercroft Road to stop sign.
9 dead newts, none fresh. One was a juvenile.
Other roadkill: None
Pit Traps: Empty
Weather: Sunny, started at 48 degrees F, no precipitation (maybe tomorrow though)
Traffic: 12 vehicles, no pedestrians.
Garbage: Picked up a bag of lead fishing weights out of habit; I do the same thing along our coastline.

פורסם ב ינואר 22, 2021 02:33 לפנה"צ על־ידי anudibranchmom anudibranchmom | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 21, 2021

January 20, 2021 - North side

January 20, 2021 (Wednesday), 1:07pm - 2:20pm
Coverage: Jones parking lot to second stop sign.

2 dead newts, 0 juveniles, 0 live newts. Both found on the side of the road further from the reservoir, and very dry.

Other roadkill: None noticed

Weather: Low 70s, mostly sunny, still hasn't rained - MORE RAIN DANCE!

Traffic: 42 cars; 8 bikes; 2 quarry trucks; 2 pedestrians

It goes quickly when there are hardly any newts!

פורסם ב ינואר 21, 2021 03:01 לפנה"צ על־ידי newtpatrol newtpatrol | 4 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 18, 2021

January 17, 2021 - North Side

Sunday, 8:15 am - 10:30 am.
Weather: 49F, sunny.

Documented 21 dead newts, no juveniles. No live newts observed.
Found 1 alive one in one of the pitfall traps(Randomly looked at a few buckets, not all of them) and 2 dead ones in the HTH survey sites, since my day started earlier than theirs. When I met them on my way back they were at survey site # 2 and said they had found 1 dead, 1 alive. They said since rains are expected next week, the numbers will rise next week.

Other documented roadkill: Jerusalem Cricket

HTH Survey site observations:

Documented human activity:
Moving Cars: 87
Pedestrian: 50
Bikes: 28
Motor bikes: 0
Trucks: 0
Parked cars: 46

Notes:One of the observation was just outside the entrance for the rowing club. This one was a crazy one to document since the clock was inching towards 10' o clock and there were so many frantic parents rushing to drop their kids for their rowing lessons. As soon as I would squat, cars started coming in all directions(with parents leaving after dropping their kid), so I had to wait for a while before all the parents had dropped their kids to take a decent photo.

2 people stopped to ask about what I was doing. Of which one inquired about the use of the buckets that HTH had in place at their survey sites. Passed by 2 cars from Santa Clara County Parks and they flashed the peace sign hand on making eye contact.

Link to all my observations for today:

פורסם ב ינואר 18, 2021 04:11 לפנה"צ על־ידי karangattu karangattu | 2 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 17, 2021

January 16th, 2021 - South Side

Saturday 9:20-12:35 pm: 34 dead newts found, 2-3 juveniles. no live newts.
Weather - sunny. Cold at first, then really warm! It's been a while since the last rain... Rain MTD 0.48 in, YTD 3.63 in per http://www.weathercat.net/wxraindetail.php
I documented 34 dead newts, 2 of them juveniles (I think there was another one). Some were dry, others were a bit more fresh. I found a few tails on the road, that were obviously part of a newt once. @truthseqr was kind enough to compare them with the previous survey, and found out that only one of them was a duplicate (and therefore deleted).
Other roadkills: a few Jerusalem Crickets, centipedes, millipedes, snail, slug, and a piece of the famous skunk.
Coverage: south part - from Aldercroft Heights Rd to the first stop sign.
Busier than I expected, mainly because of 2 car races - Traffic: 64 cars (including SJJJ), 5 motorcycles, 70 bikes, 9 pedestrians, and 4 cars parked by the road. Seems like most cars drive north, and most bikes go south.
I saw the HTH team on their way to #6, after I already passed it. I didn't see anything in their traps or dead near the traps.
I hiked down to Soda Spring creek to see if I can spot any newts, but I didn't see any. I thought it looked like good newt habitat, with fresh water flow, and quiet spots.
A link to all my observations from the survey:

פורסם ב ינואר 17, 2021 05:48 אחה"צ על־ידי merav merav | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

January 14, 2021 - North side

January 14, 2021 (Thursday), 1:07pm - 2:49pm.
Coverage: Jones parking lot to second stop sign.

32 dead newts (of which 2 may be juveniles), 0 live newts. Again, more dead newts found on the side of the road further from the reservoir. A majority were dry, except in the moist recesses of the road.

Other roadkill: None noticed

Weather: Low 70s, mostly sunny, still hasn't rained a while - RAIN DANCE!

Traffic: 39 cars; 12 bikes; 2 quarry trucks; 0 pedestrians

I tried a different camera app (OpenCamera), and to my surprise had only one newt's location be a bit off the road, none ended up in Bear Creek Redwoods. Not sure if it's due to the app or something about being on the north side.

Not much to report otherwise. It's been a long time since I've done the north side. It feels shorter, but also like there's so much more traffic, and blind curves. Always tradeoffs.

פורסם ב ינואר 17, 2021 04:40 אחה"צ על־ידי newtpatrol newtpatrol | 4 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 14, 2021

January 13, 2021- south side

14 dead newts (0 juveniles), 0 live newts.
January 13th, 2021 (Wednesday) 1:15pm-4:30pm.
Weather: Nice clear day, mid/high 60s. No rain for many days prior.
Other roadkill: 1 large millipede.
Rainfall: MTD 0.47in, YTD 3.62in (per http://www.weathercat.net/wxraindetail.php?year=2021)
Traffic: 55 motor vehicles, 7 parked vehicles, 22 bicycles (actually a fairly quiet day, I was just out longer than the usual two hours)
Midpen study: Pit traps were emptied before I arrived, and there were no roadkill newts in their road sections.

Few newts today; this might be my all-time lowest count (and a sharp contrast to last week when I did the north side after a day of rain). A few fresh/ish, but mostly old or dried-out crackers.

My newt observations for today: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?on=2021-01-13&place_id=any&taxon_id=27816&user_id=sea-kangaroo&verifiable=any

Newt map:

פורסם ב ינואר 14, 2021 08:28 לפנה"צ על־ידי sea-kangaroo sea-kangaroo | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 11, 2021

Jan 9 - South Side

40 dead newts, 4 juveniles, 0 live newts.
Jan 9, 2021 (Saturday) ~8:45-11:00 am
Weather: Dry and sunny in the mid 50s. No rain for many days.
Other roadkill: Flat skunk GONE!
Coverage: Aldercroft parking to first stop sign
Traffic: 16 cars, very few considering its the weekend.
Zero commercial trucks.
Pit traps: Empty.

Two conversations:

1) Female runner who adores the newts and had a million questions and wanted to know how to help. Asked to take photo of me (!) because of our snazzy vests, so thank you @merav for increasing the public visibility of our project. You might consider arming us with some sort of business cards with a link "for more information and how you can help" since this seems to happen regularly.

2) Friendly chat with the biologist from HTH at the south pit traps. He's a nice guy; went to Cal Poly SLO where he studied burrowing owls. In addition to working for HTH, he's working on his masters at SJSU with a project on red-legged frogs and CA tiger salamanders. He mentioned that the biggest newt massacres he's ever seen occurred when it was raining at night AND there was an accident on Highway 17, which detoured all the highway traffic onto Alma Bridge Road. I'm not sure where you'd find highway closure data, but it might be interesting to try and correlate those dates/times with the bigger mortality spikes we observed from previous years.

פורסם ב ינואר 11, 2021 02:00 לפנה"צ על־ידי anudibranchmom anudibranchmom | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 10, 2021

Pacific Newt Roadkill and Rainfall (Jan 2021)

The following charts show Pacific Newt roadkill at Lexington Reservoir and cumulative rainfall amounts (measured in inches) for each of the four migration seasons we've been surveying. We use the Weathercat website based in Santa Cruz for rainfall and temperature info due to its proximity to Lexington Reservoir and its convenient numeric format which is easy to copy into Excel for analysis purposes.

Cumulative rainfall as of Jan 10, 2021 is much lower than the three previous seasons (Figure 2). This correlates with the lower newt mortality we're seeing for these months (Figure 1).


(Updated on Jan 17, 2021.)

פורסם ב ינואר 10, 2021 04:56 אחה"צ על־ידי truthseqr truthseqr | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה

How to Measure SVL using ImageJ software

The ImageJ software, developed by the NIH, is a freeware tool for analyzing photographs. It is a useful tool for our purposes of measuring snout-to-vent length (SVL) of Pacific newts, especially those that are curved. Here are instructions for using ImageJ to calculate SVL:

(1) Download the ImageJ software from the NIH website: https://imagej.nih.gov/ij/download.html. The download includes a detailed (and somewhat overwhelming) user's guide of all the software's features & capabilities. Don't worry - we only need to use a few simple features.

(2) Make a copy of an iNat newt picture and save it on your computer. To do this:
--> Right-click on the picture in iNat and select "Save Image As..."
--> I use the 8-digit iNat ID as the file name so I can later go back and enter the SVL (snout-to-vent-length) value.

(3) Launch the ImageJ software. You'll see the ImageJ toolbar on your desktop.
(4) Select File --> Open... and open the newt picture.
(5) Right-click the line tool on the toolbar and select "Straight Line."


(6) Draw a line on the measuring device in the picture (for example, 1 inch). See the yellow line on the ruler below.


(7) Select Analyze --> Set Scale... The "Set Scale" dialog is displayed.
--> Enter the "Known Distance" and "Unit of Measure."
--> Click OK.

(8) Right-click the line tool again, but this time select "Segmented Line."
--> Double-click on the tip of the newt's snout to start the segmented line.
--> Click to place pivot points along the segmented line.
--> Double-click to stop at the newt's vent. Refer to this drawing:
Diagram for measuring snout-to-vent length (SVL)

(9) Select Analyze --> Measure. The calculated length is displayed in the Results dialog box.

(10) According to the cutoff of 50 mm (2 in) suggested by @tyap and other herpetologists, this newt would be categorized as an adult. In iNat, set the "Life Stage" Annotation to "Adult" and add the Observation Field "SVL" along with the value calculated by ImageJ.

פורסם ב ינואר 10, 2021 05:31 לפנה"צ על־ידי truthseqr truthseqr | 5 comments | הוספת תגובה

ינואר 09, 2021

Jan 9, 2021 - North Side

January 9th (Saturday) 2021 08:15 am -11:34 am
Weather: 42F, mostly sunny

Documented 52 dead newts, 2 of which were juveniles. No live newts observed.
Did not find any dead newts on HTH survey sites since they were ahead of me. They did mention when they passed by that they found a few dead ones and 4 live males in the pitfall traps(all heading towards the water).

Other documented roadkill:
4 centipedes, 1 Jerusalem cricket, 1 moth

Also spotted a dead Western Screen Owl on the road(but it was not due to roadkill, it seemed this one fell out of the sky)

Documented human activity:
Moving Cars: 128
Pedestrian: 52
Bikes: 48
Motor bikes: 1
Trucks: 0
Parked cars: 71

Notes: The road had a lot of traffic today, can be because it was a sunny day but can also because I saw a lot of beginners on the row boats in the reservoir(Introductory session maybe)
3 hikers stopped and asked me about what I was doing. One person said he loves the newt patrol. One person said he had stayed in that area for more than 25 years and he used to see a lot of newts and cottontail rabbits but does not see them as often anymore. And he thought we were doing the lord's work documenting this tragedy. One hiker asked what should she do if she found a dead newt on a trail, I said just leave it as is since we are only documenting roadkill. She thought the HTH buckets were to dump dead newts.

Also I was scanning car tires for signs that deep treads might carry the newts some distance. And in one instance of a truck with huge tires, I found some evidence.


Link to all my observations:

פורסם ב ינואר 09, 2021 11:35 אחה"צ על־ידי karangattu karangattu | 9 comments | הוספת תגובה