Massacre in Another Santa Clara County Location - Sunday, 2/14/2021

Some of you might be interested to know that today I discovered another high-newt mortality area in Santa Clara County. I went there for birding, but after the first few bodies, I thought I'd better document it instead. I walked up and back along the ~1.5 mile stretch of Gilroy Hot Springs Road between the Henry Coe SP parking lot at Hunting Hollow north to the bridge where the road ends. It is very similar to Alma Bridge Road in that there's a steep cliff on one side and a body of water (Upper Coyote Creek) on the other, but the road is flatter and there are fewer vehicles, even on a Sunday. And yes there are squashed Buckeyes and many piles of fox scat on this road too! The reward at the bridge is seeing a bunch of live newts swimming around.

128 dead newts, many fresh, left in place in case someone else is studying them
3 live newts helped across
4 dead Western Toads
Only 8 vehicles
36 bicycles

Anotado por anudibranchmom anudibranchmom, 15 de febrero de 2021 a las 05:43 AM

Comentarios

OMG! That's horrible. As we've suspected all along, this mass slaughter is probably happening throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains and other locations where roads separate the newts' terrestrial habitat from their breeding ponds. Thanks for documenting this, @anudibranchmom .

Anotado por truthseqr hace 12 meses (Advertencia)

not a happy valentine's day.
:(

Anotado por joescience1 hace 12 meses (Advertencia)

That is horrible @anudibranchmom! Glad you got to see some live ones that made it, and could help a few along.

I also just noted a high newt mortality area this past Friday (2/12), along Hicks road around the Guadalupe Reservoir, and even up Mt Umunhum road a ways. I wish I would have counted them, at least along what appeared to be the highest-mortality stretch on Hicks, but didn't, they were just obvious while driving through. Did help 2 live ones cross Mt Umunhum road though.

So yes, it is a common occurrence, even as I saw at a small scale at my previous home. So depressing. :-(

Anotado por newtpatrol hace 12 meses (Advertencia)

@truthseqr This location is in the hills above Gilroy (Henry Coe SP).

Anotado por anudibranchmom hace 12 meses (Advertencia)

Oh no :( Thanks for looking into it and bringing it to our attention @anudibranchmom !

Anotado por tyap hace 11 meses (Advertencia)

So sorry to hear that, @anudibranchmom. I love these backcountry roads. And thank you for documenting.
I was wondering if we should create a general roadkill project for other locations. Not that we need to go and survey everywhere, but when we encounter a dead newt on a road or on iNat, we could add it there. Not sure it should even be in our umbrella project. What do you think?

Anotado por merav hace 11 meses (Advertencia)

@anudibranchmom, I created a new project for your observations. Do you want to provide a banner picture and a project icon?
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pacific-newts-roadkill-2020-2021-henry-coe-state-park

Here's the umbrella project that also includes a project for live newts:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pacific-newts-henry-coe-state-park

@anudibranchmom, @merav, @tyap, if you want to join the projects, I'll make you all curators so you can add journal posts & such.

I've also added it to our reference list for newt roadkill:
https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/30430-pacific-newt-taricha-roadkill-references

Anotado por truthseqr hace 11 meses (Advertencia)

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