The Migration Begins! Blue Spotted Salamanders on Presque Isle
The blue-spotted salamander is a four- to five-inch-long amphibian that has a black body with vivid blue spots. It can be found in deciduous and coniferous forests and likes places with moist soil and small ponds. It often takes shelter in burrows or under damp leaves, moss or logs. Thousands of them hibernate underground on the Island during the winter, but in the spring when nights turn warm and it begins to rain, they come out and migrate to wetlands just south of the island, to reproduce. Every spring the city of Marquette closes a portion of the road at Presque Isle Park to assist the blue spotted salamander with its annual migration! It is a good thing they do, as due to the loss of wetlands and the destruction of forests, the salamanders are threatened in many states. Michigan is one of the only states where blue-spotted salamanders are still very common.
Never have seen one? This migration is a great opportunity to bring out your family to witness this natural phenomenon. Be sure to bring warm clothes, a headlamp, and your camera! For the health of the salamanders, it is best to look and do not touch or pick up these amphibians.