Friday, October 14, 2016

Two-Lined Salamander, a survey protocol


A provincial strategy for finding Eurycea

Frederick W Schueler



Abstract: Eurycea bislineata (Two-lined Salamander), is one of the cases where Ontario has one species from what is a whole guild of species farther south, and the map of the species occurrence in Ontario is mostly made up of holes between central southern Ontario and isolated records on the Moose River, Manitoulin, Moose Creek, and north of Sudbury. I've contributed a few of the isolated records, but I've also been guilty of not turning Eurycea-ish rocks along a lot of streams, partly because there's no planned protocol for such a search, comparable to the 100-stones protocol for Acroloxus. I'll present a strategy for filling those holes or confirming the isolation of the outlying populations, based on my experience and contributions from colleagues in and outside Ontario. 


Introduction: The Appalachian Mountains of the southeastern United States are the world centre for the evolution of forest and stream Salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. Of the many stream Salamanders there, only four have followed the retreating glaciers into the Eastern Townships of Quebec and the Adirondacks of northern New York, and only one species, Eurycea bislineata, the Two-lined Salamander, has made it across the St Lawrence into the Ottawa River drainage, and west through Algonquin Park to Georgian Bay, and east through much of Quebec to James Bay and Labrador.
  
Inadequate searching: With only one spottily-distributed species to search for, Ontario herpetologists may not seek out potential Eurycea habitat, and they may not have a proper search image for the best sort of stones to turn. If they're in brook-like habitat, they may just forget to look for Two-lines because they're distracted by other taxa, because the rocks to be turned are right along the waterline between those that are to be turned for Crayfish or Mudpuppies and those to be turned for terrestrial Salamanders and snails -- and there's the temptation to just scan the surface of rocky shores for surface-active herps, Unionid shells, drifted material, or dead bicycles. Another problem is that without any other species in the guild, there's no control to use to document unsuccessful searches. One can say “There's lots of Atlas records of Peepers but none of Chorus Frogs, so Chorus Frogs are likely absent here,” but there's no species to take that role for Two-lines.

Absence of Salamanders: This again has two causes: streams through clayey glacial deposits, and anthropogenic change following agricultural settlement.  Before settlement, the shores of most streams were shaded by overhanging trees, more water flowed from seepages and springs and less from runoff, and the beds were lined with stones concentrated by several thousand years of gradual erosion. Now, with warmer, siltier water, and the rocky beds of many streams broken up by canalization, it's plausible to assume that Eurycea have been restricted to isolated stretches of the best persisting habitat. Many Ontario streams flow through post-glacial Clay Belts where there isn't much rocky cover or gravelly seepages, and it's often hard to reach and search these patches of potential habitat
.
There's also the problem of 'rare species dilution,' the difficulty of finding, studying, or understanding species when populations - whether reproductively self-sustaining or metapopulation sinks - are at very low density over large areas of their range.


The Search Protocol: Without more widespread guild members to serve as controls, searches which fail to find Eurycea will need to be recorded in the Atlas as negative records. Such a record should include a statement of effort and time expended, why the habitat & season were thought suitable, and other species found in the course of the search. In the case of Eurycea, the principal measure of effort (assuming that start & finish times, and number of observers, are routinely recorded) would be the number of water-edge stones turned, which should be recorded, along with, for successful searches, the number turned before the firat Salamander was found. Other herp species would be reported to the Atlas as separate records, while significant non-herp species would be mentioned in comments.

The “100-stones protocol for Acroloxus,” was derived by Isabelle Picard from Arthur Clarke's mention of examining 200 stones at one station where this rare freshwater limpet was found (“On Acroloxus coloradensis in Eastern Canada,” NMNS Pubs in Zool, No. 2, 1970). Where Eurycea occurs, one usually finds ones first Salamander between the first and fortieth stone, so 100 stones (about 1 person-hour of work) should suffice as evidence of a thorough search.


The Protocol: 

1) procure a small aquarist's dipnet

2) find a likely site

3) record the usual geographic & environmental variables (start & finish times, latitude & longitude, waterbody & road name, air & water temperatures, weather, and habitat description), 

4) record start time 

5) turn water-edge rocks, counting the rocks turned both until an Eurycea is found and the total for the search, 

6) record finish time 

7) report all these data to the Atlas

6) loop back to step 2


Habitats: 
typical Eurycea habitat in New Brunswick    photo by Don McAlpine    
Jakob Mueller (see contributions below) finds the species' "Ontario distribution... absolutely bizarre when considered with respect to their distribution south of the Great Lakes." Despite ubiquity in the rest of the State, the New York herp atlas has relatively few records in the St-Lawrence Lowlands or along western Lake Ontario, suggesting that this habitat itself may be inhospitable. The failure to spread into the cobbly streams of the Oak Ridges Moraine may be due to a failure to get along Lake Ontario, or may be due to historic northward restriction to sites with adequate hibernacula, an attenuation we seem to see with other Salamanders, Snakes, and water-hibernating Frogs. Climate change may be expected to lessen this restriction (while its droughts may impose their own limits), which is a pressing incentive to get a good documentation of the range as soon as possible.

The prime habitat is small, high-gradient streams (=brooks) under closed forest canopy, and rocky shores of clear-water rivers. This habitat is more exposed during periods of low water. The Salamanders will be under flat rocks positioned right at the water's edge so that the underside is just wet enough; larvae will be underwater in these sites. The best places are often where a stream is enlarging into a pool, or where there's seepage of water through gravel into the stream. There's no space for a Salamander in rocks that are solidly embedded in sand or clay, which is more often the case with round rocks. 

Associated species which should prompt searches are Brook Trout and Cambarus bartonii Crayfish. A small aquarists' dipnet is the best way to catch the escapees, and carrying such a net should be a sign that an observer is focused on Eurycea. Conventional nocturnal terrestrial & aquatic searches with lights will also turn up Eurycea if they're present (terrestrially during rainy or moist nights), and Amy MacPherson's encounter points out that electrofishers should be alerted to the need to report any Salamanders that they put up. It's important to be alert to Eurycea occurrence in non-brook habitats, such Paul Catling's "fast shallow water on rocky shore of the St. Lawrence River" and Matt Keevil's "moist sedge-litter in a beaver meadow alongside a meandering, sandy stream." Francis Cook and I recall Norris Denman describing populations along the rocky shores of northern lakes. Matt Ellerbeck (Salamander Man) suggests a public campaign that actively promotes the reporting of sightings based on family visits to streams, in the same way icefishers were the target of the Atlas' Mudpuppy campaign. Such a campaign could also involve Unionids and Crayfish, and information about the harm that piling rocks, or not returning them to their place, does to the under-rock fauna.

Since there are populations in some of the streams that drain into the St-Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, these should be systematically searched, as well as the shores of the rivers. The Jock River and Moose Creek in eastern Ontario point out that healthy populations can be separated by scores of kilometres. Riffly areas in streams and rivers in the Cochrane District Clay Belt need to be searched, and we'd need negative records of searches in the Oak Ridges Moraine to be sure the species is absent there. Canoeists are notoriously hard to divert from get-to-the-campsite-and-that-box-of-wine, but they should be encouraged to turn cover wherever they land on rocky shores. The Mattawa/Nipissing/French river system is implausibly devoid of records! We need to know if and how well Eurycea coexists with Zebra Mussels, and return visits to sites of previous records are essential for knowing how the species is faring. It would be good for someone to replicate Matt Keevil's GIS mapping of habitat suitability over the whole eastern portion of the province, and then to publicize sites away from the known distribution that seem like they might be promising.



The Ontario Herp Atlas should be the primary repository for everyone's Eurycea searches and observations. https://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/herpetofaunal_atlas.php  


In addition to my own experience, this strategy is based on contributions from colleagues in and outside Ontario, both contributed in response to facebook posts, and solicited by e-mail.

Jakob Mueller: The Ontario distribution of Eurycea (as we understand it) is absolutely bizarre when considered with respect to their distribution south of the Great Lakes. It's not as if streamside habitats do not exist south of the Canadian Shield - they do - and it's not as if they are restricted to the Appalachian corridor - they are widespread throughout New York and Pennsylvania, and apparently not uncommon. To quote Harding: "Two-lined Salamanders seem to tolerate a wider range of habitat situations than related streamside species." Rivers and streams flowing northward into one of the lower Great Lakes? Check. Rivers and streams flowing southward into one of the lower Great Lakes? No, not so much.


David Seburn: It would be interesting to look at detailed creek/stream mapping at all Eurycea locations to see if aquatic connectivity explains the current distribution. Unfortunately some of the small creeks I've found them in probably wouldn't even show up in a GIS layer.


Matt Keevil: My attempts at GIS habitat suitability mapping in the end consisted of identifying locations in which moderate relief and streams occurred together. This was based on Fred's suggested that Eurycea were likely to occur where there was seepage into a stream. I had in mind the disjunct Moose Creek site which I had never been to but which looks distinctive on a topographic map because it is characterized by a stream cutting through a moraine surrounded by an otherwise flat landscape. The analysis was originally intended to cover all of Ontario but in the end was constrained to just Eastern Ontario because of computational limitations. I can't recall any quantitative results but in general I don't remember many surprises. The highest scoring habitats were concentrated in the Frontenac Arch and Algonquin Park which corresponds to the areas best represented in known occurrences. Some marginal sites off the shield with known occurrences in Eastern Ontario (such as the Jock River) did not stand out. Unfortunately, some sites away from the known distribution seemed like they might be promising but I neglected to ground truth them, and the files have been lost through hard-drive crashes.


Salamander Man: Part of a provincial strategy to help better understand the distribution of Eurycea in Ontario could be to launch a campaign that actively engages and encourages families to report sightings (similar to the effort that encouraged fishermen to report mudpuppys that have been caught during ice fishing). Consider the fact that many children play in creeks and streams. Many actively look for crayfish, and therefore are turning over rocks - if the parents/guardians were aware that sightings of such stream salamanders were significant they could then report incidental finds that could arise. Furthermore, information could be included (similar to the efforts focused on Hellbenders in the U.S), to return stream side rocks back to where they where found if they have been flipped or moved, as these act as important habitat features for these salamanders.


Subject: RE: St Lawrence Eurycea - At 04:46 PM 10/6/05 -0400, Paul Catling wrote:

> The salamander came from fast shallow water on rocky shore of the St. Lawrence River at the edge of the Gallop canal on the W side of Cardinal, Leeds and Grenville Co., 44.7785 N, -75.3958 W, Coll.: P.M. Catling, 5 Oct 2005. This is a nice spot. I have collected crayfish along the St. Lawrence a few times but this is the first time I have seen a Sally. Not too many places with fast water right on the shore. If another St. Lawrence record for Two-lined, may still be of interest because older records may predate the Seaway??? 7 Sept 2016: The part of the Gallop Canal where I saw it was not under a rock but in clear water near shore. There were rocks nearby. There were also Round Gobies within a metre and I wondered whether they were a particular threat. In the Champlain Bridge area of the Ottawa River and upstream at Deschenes Rapids, I have found it under flat rivershore rocks with some water beneath. Finding it may be a little more difficult where the rocks are not flat.


[James Bay] Eurycea bislineata Two-lined Salamander, Salamandre à deux lignes: The Two-lined Salamander was sought in 16 different rivers and brooks in Québec. Habitat at most of them seemed adequate for the species: clear running water, rocky shores, substrate of sand and gravel, and adjacent forest, but the species was found in only 4 stations. All were under rocks at the margin of rivers except for two larvae that were on the bottom in water. The most northern record was made at Eastmain Rd, 18.1km WNW the James Bay Road, where a rocky brown-water river runs under the road in three large culverts... North of here, no specimens were found despite many searches. Our observations are the most northern in the James Bay area, but the species has been reported farther north east of our study area... Streams in the Clay Belt are gravelly only in short stretches at riffles, and this may explain the apparent absence of this salamander in the southernmost part of our study area in Québec. The only northern Ontario records are along the Abitibi River, halfway between Fraserdale and Moosonee, in the Onakawana River, and Mowbray Creek, a tributary of the Opisatika River. (Jean-François Desroches, Isabelle Picard, Frederick W. Schueler, and Louis-Philippe Gagnon. A Herpetological survey of the James Bay area of Québec and Ontario. 2010 (2011). Canadian Field-Naturalist 124(4):299-315)


Isabelle Picard: My advice about methodology - Search during summer in Salvelinus fontinalis (Brook Trout) habitat during low water. Lift rocks on the bank. Check places where river is enlarging and where there is a pool of water with rocks. Lift the rocks that show space under it. Big flat rocks are the best.


An outlying population: 17 September 2009 Canada: Ontario: Nipissing District: McDougal Creek, 0.1 km SW Highway 63 bridge, Thorne. (25m waypoint), 46.69919° N 79.10077° W TIME: 1354-1407. AIR TEMP: 19°C, sunny, breezy. HABITAT: black cobble brook where it runs into still water/wooded residential shores just above mouth in the Ottawa River. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler, Adam Zieleman. 2009/245/ba, Orconectes propinquus (Crayfish). Two small pale individuals in gravel. 2009/245/bb, Eurycea bislineata (Two-Lined Salamander). Two greyish individuals under cover in gravel. This site also supported big Plecoptera (Stonefly) nymphs, but NO:Orconectes immunis [present in the Ottawa River here, and partial to soft substrate] seem to have taken over the creek.


Cambarus bartonii / Ontario: Nipissing District: Big Jocko River/Hwy 63, 7.5km WSW Eldee - small brownwater rock/sandy river, water 13.5 C, in rolling Picea-wooded Shield / 46.61239N 79.16985W / 7 Sep 2001 / Frederick W. Schueler field#: 2001/169/d - no explicit search for Eurycea, in this very suitable habitat, just 11 km SSW of where the McDougal Creek population was found 8 years later.


First modern specimens from an outlying population, provoked by a decade of rumours from kids, and a 1928 NMC collection: 13 July 2004 - Ontario: Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Cos: Moose Creek below St Polycarp Street, Moose Creek. (25m waypoint), 45.25859° N 74.97651° W TIME: 1058-1204. AIR TEMP: 23°C, overcast, Beaufort light air. HABITAT: small shaded bedrock/cobble-bottom brook in village. OBSERVER: Frederick W. Schueler. 2004/114/a, Eurycea bislineata (Two-Lined Salamander). 2/14ca/10ca adult, larva, specimen, captured. Adults and larvae in and along stream, and adults below spring inflow. Two adults were preserved, and about 12 more seen. About 10 small larvae, ca 15 mm TL, were seen under rocks in the stream, all the way from this waypoint to the St Polycarp Street culvert, and under rocks in the shade inside the culvert. This waypoint, and the first place we found the salamanders, and where they were most concentrated, was where 16° C water (spring? artesian overflow?) falls 3 m from a plastic pipe onto a pile of rocks and bricks separated from the stream by a stretch of bare bedrock. The flow is maybe 100 ml/sec. This is just downstream from the footings of an old bridge, on the west side. (Eurycea found again in Moose Creek, 324m upstream, on 7 Sept 2016).


Matt Keevil: Eurycea in Algonquin: I have never searched systematically along the Highway 60 corridor but I have done casual directed searches at some locations. I have found Eurycea eventually along all the small streams that I have searched, but I have not been successful in every search. Stream reaches differ in searchability in proportion to the prevalence of flat rocks positioned just-so at the water's edge so that the underside is just wet enough. Presumably, adult Eurycea use many types of refuge that meet their needs such as crevices, root holes, and moist organic debris but these other microhabitats are not vulnerable to targeted searching. Searchability varies temporally within reaches as well; changing water levels can substantially alter the number of suitable cover objects. A pattern that I have noticed is that larva are more apparent than adults in very small forest streams. In addition to typical habitat along small, high-gradient streams, I have also found Eurycea along a rocky bank of the Petawawa River and incidentally among moist sedge-litter in a beaver meadow alongside a meandering, sandy stream. My encounters with Eurycea in Algonquin have occurred within four different tertiary basins (Petawawa, Madawaska, and Eastern Georgian Bay). I suspect that Eurycea is present in suitable habitat throughout the Park, but this remains to confirmed.


Amy MacPherson: My two encounters with Eurycea have been entirely serendipitous, since I have never undertaken any targeted surveys for this species. The first occurred in July 2002 while conducting field surveys for the Shields Creek subwatershed study, near the village of Greely in Ottawa. We were using a backpack electrofisher to sample fish communities in the creek and were quite surprised to discover a salamander in our catch. This shallow section of Shields Creek passes through a woodland and is heavily shaded, with abundant in-stream cover provided by rocks and woody debris. It receives cool groundwater inputs from upwellings farther upstream. No other salamanders were found during that study. Although apparently a common species in parts of Ottawa and eastern Ontario, I did not see Eurycea again until June 2015. During a school field trip to the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area, in Lanark County, my daughter's class discovered four big larval Eurycea, along with a wide variety of other benthic creatures, by dipnetting in the rocky shallows of the Indian River.


When we first visited the Jock River, at the [then] Hwy 16 bridge, in 1975, we found all three native species of Crayfish — big pink & blue Orconectes virilis, smaller dark-banded O. propinquus, and the shy, uniformly brown Cambarus bartonii — and there were lots of slender, golden, Two-lined Salamanders, Eurycea bislineata. In 1986, we first found the big rusty-coloured invasive Crayfish, Orconectes rusticus, in the Rideau system there, and in a few years O. virilis was no longer present, and O. propinquus was swamped by hybridization with O. rusticus. How do you search for a shy, rare, burrowing, Crayfish where it may be extirpated? Since our Cambarus are more nocturnal than our Orconectes, on the evening of 20 August 1999, an EOBM field trip visited the site to see how many Crayfish would be active on the bottom at night, and if these might include Cambarus bartonii. There weren’t many Crayfish active, and all were O. rusticus, but perhaps the Moon was too bright for full activity. Stew Hamill, with Katie & Devon, found the first Eurycea, under a flat triangular stone at the water’s edge, while Greg Hutton found slender larval Salamanders beside stones in the gravel. The Salamanders live in the seepage area along the west shore of the Jock, and we found them as far upstream as we searched, though this was only about 100 m above the bridge (Schueler, Fred, and Aleta Karstad. 1999. Jock River field trip. EOBM Almanack 1(4):8).


Greg Jongsma: Surveying for Eurycea in New Brunswick, I focused on streams with closed canopies. My encounter rate increased with increasing cover objects, usually flat stones 15 - 25 cm in size. Individuals are quick to retreat into streams so I'd recommend flipping objects in a direction away from streams so that the cover object itself serves as a barrier to the salamander's retreat. I typically found individuals within 1 meter of the stream's edge. They do not appear sensitive to substrate like Desmognathus. I have found Eurycea in muddy substrate and granular (pebbly) substrate and everywhere in between. Further north in NB, I could find Eurycea along large rivers with open canopies (example: Jacquet River), whereas I never encountered individuals in similar open habitat further south (example: Saint John River around Fredericton). We found individuals along the edge of Antinouri Lake in northern NB. I expect water temperature is an important predictor of whether individuals can occupy large, open rivers and lakes versus closed canopy streams in NB. The presence of cover objects close to the waters edge is the other important factor. A student could likely quantify these habitat differences within a master's with the right study design. Putting the project within the scope of climate change and adding a predictive modeling aspect would likely make it attractive to funders.


Donald F. McAlpine:  I can confirm Greg's observations, although I can't say I have necessarily found Eurycea lacking in open canopy streams/rivers in southern New Brunswick.  I have often found them associated with the crayfish Cambarus bartonii - find C. bartonii in NB and you will likely find E. bislineata there too. Like Greg, I look for flat rocks in areas away from current. A small aquarists' dip net can be useful.  I have found Eurycea in rock-margined lakes (Ayers Lake, for example) and sometimes as much as 10-15 m back from the water margin, but like Greg, more generally within a few meters of the shoreline. Probably depends on the availability of cover objects, which tend to be more frequent near the water margin anyway. Clear, rocky, streams tend to be best, but I have collected this species from muddy areas along (clear) streams as well.



Subject: Re: Two-Lined Salamander at Almonte Hydro site
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 11:14:30 -0400
From: MRPC INFO <info@mississippiriverpower.com>
To: Frederick W Schueler <bckcdb@istar.ca>

Frederick, Thank you for your concern and information. Your email has been forwarded to our Environmental Consultant for his information and comments - Scott Newton.

<no reply was received from the consultant>

On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 3:53 PM, Frederick W Schueler <bckcdb@istar.ca> wrote:

Dear Mississippi River Power & M. Sullivan & Son Ltd:

Visiting Almonte on 17 September to check the status of the Two-Lined Salamander population that I discovered in the seepage below the dam there in 1997, it seemed, from what could be seen around the fencing that had been erected around the site, that the entire area occupied by the Salamanders had been removed. As you can see from the appended records, I was very careful to minimize disturbance of the habitat of these Salamanders when monitoring their persistence at the site, so it was shocking to see the entire surroundings reduced to bare rock.

As these records are publicly available from the Ontario Herpetofaunal Summary, I trust you were aware of the Salamanders' presence, and can assure me that either the seepage where they lived has not been disturbed by the construction of the new hydro station, or that appropriate mitigation measures are underway.

Sincerely,

Frederick W. Schueler, Ph.D.
Research Curator
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  This project consisted entirely of peer review, via e-mail and facebook, and I thank Jakob Mueller, David, Matt Keevil, Matt Ellerback, Paul Catling, Isabelle Picard, Amy MacPherson, Greg Jongsma, and Donald McAlpine for their contributions, printed in the attached booklet. I'm probably more guilty than most of being diverted by Crayfish and Unionids from proper attention to Eurycea-hospitable stones, and I thank the dynamic maps of the Ontario Amphibian & Reptile Atlas for illuminating the extent of this guilt. Besides the authors of the written contributions, I've discussed this with Tanya Pulfer & Emma Horrigan at the Atlas, and Wayne Weller & Francis Cook. Bev Wigney & Susannah Anderson, the foundresses of Rock Flipping Day, are a constant inspiration to engage in appropriately undercover behaviour. Aleta Karstad designed and produced the poster; the Eurycea image is from Wikipedia.


Suggested citation: Schueler, Frederick W. (with contributions from Jakob Mueller, David Seburn, Matt Keevil, Matt Ellerbeck, Paul Catling, Isabelle Picard, Amy MacPherson, Greg Jongsma, & Donald McAlpine). 2016. A Provincial Strategy for finding Eurycea. blog post of poster paper, Canadian Herpetological Society, Third Annual Meeting at Toronto Zoo, Scarborough, Ontario, 17-19 September. http://doingnaturalhistory.blogspot.com/2016/10/two-lined-salamander-survey-protocol.html



            

1 comment:

  1. here's an e-mail to Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative from January 2016 that was part of the triggering for this project:

    Quoting Cameron Smith :

    > I've been looking for a study that grapples with the level and type of animal migration we might expect in the Frontenac Arch as a result of climate change.

    * one creepy thing (or 'reminder of the importance of historical contingency,' as Steve Gould would have phrased it) about this part of the world is the way we can see, from the Ontario side, habitat occupied by three spectacular stream Salamanders - Desmognatus fuscus, Desmognatus ochrophaeus, and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (Spring Salamander)) which have never made it across the Saint Lawrence, and which would certainly do well, even now, in the rugged topography of the Fontenac Axis/Arch. I'm sure there are many Gastropod and other invertebrate species in similar situations.

    If we're thinking about A 2 A porosity and global warming we've got the problem that the Adirondacks are an outlier of borealish habitat, while the Axis/Arch is anomalously rugged for its latitude in Ontario, so there are few or no Mammal species that could find a northern refuge by crossing a 401 overpass, and southern Snakes and Turtles tend to be present on both sides of the River.

    So we're in a different situation from Y2Y [Yellowstone to Yukon] or a hypothetical southern Saskatchewan porosity corridor - just providing naturalized habitat won't allow southern species to sweep north as the climate warms. The Salamander and (presumed) other forest-floor species were stopped by the Saint Lawrence from occupying habitat here that even now, with the warming that has occurred since the Little Ice Age, is almost certainly suitable for them. Without anthropogenic habitat destruction these species might have come around the Niagara peninsula (the two Desmognathus (Dusky Salamander) have tiny populations on the Ontario side of the Niagara Gorge), up the Escarpment, and along the Oak Ridges Moraine to the Land Between, across the Arch/Axis, and up the Ottawa Valley, perhaps over the course of 10 K years.

    With anthropogenic habitat destruction, this scenario is much more unlikely, and would certainly go much more slowly, and certainly vastly slower than climate change will make northern habitats suitable for these species. There are also tales of widespread overall declines of Salamanders, making northern habitats potentially important refugia for Salamander species.

    So what can we do regarding these historically limited species, short of scooping up Gyrinophilus (Spring Salamander) and Desmognathus (Dusky Salamander) in northern NY, and releasing them in Lyn Creek?

    I think the first thing would be surveys of Salamanders and Gastropods on both sides of the river to see what's where now. The one species of stream Salamander on the Ontario side and along the river on the New York side is Eurycea bislineata (Two-Lined Salamander). In Ontario, probably due to rugged topography and Ontario unfamiliarity with stream Salamanders, the distribution of this species, and its western limit somewhere in western Leeds County, is very poorly sampled. I'm pretty sure, for example, that my record of Eurycea from Golden Creek below Lyn Falls, for example, is the first from this drainage basin - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.ca/2012/12/first-step-of-lyn-falls-in-winter-oil.html - I will get the records from the Herp Atlas.

    It's curious how the things one has been doing since boyhood always prove to be the most important to study in any situation. - fred.

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