Endangered Salamanders

Salamander populations are declining worldwide.  Mountain Lakes is fortunate to be home to 5 endangered or rare salamanders, highlighting the need to maintain vernal pools.

 

Species:  Marbled Salamander

Scientific Name:  Ambystoma opacum

State Status:  Heritage Program rank S3, rare, declining (NJNHP 2001).

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Found once, in 1989 under rotting logs near a dry vernal pool in what is now Frederick Park (Radis 2008).  Possible in wooded areas throughout the Borough where there are vernal ponds.

Comments:  Unlike the other salamanders in the area, Marbled Salamander breeds in the fall.  A vernal pond-dependent species.

 

Species:  Jefferson Salamander

Scientific Name:  Ambystoma jeffersonianum

State Status:  Heritage Program rank S3; rare, declining (NJNHP 2001).

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Several were found in the spring of 2004 in a vernal pond complex adjacent to St. Catherine’s Church on Pocono Road (Radis 2008).  Six were found in 2009 and 3 in 2010.  Possible in other wooded areas of the Borough where there are vernal ponds.

 

Species:  Spotted Salamander

Scientific Name:  Ambystoma maculatum

State Status:  Heritage Program Rank S3, rare, declining (NJNHP 2001).

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Found in 2007 in and near several vernal ponds in Wilcox Park; 27 found in 2009.  Possible in other wooded areas of the Borough where vernal ponds are present.

Comments:  A vernal pond-dependent species.

 

Species:  Blue-spotted Salamander complex (includes hybrids with A. Jeffersonianum)

Scientific Name:  Ambystoma laterale

State Status:  Endangered; Heritage Program rank S1 (NJNHP 2001).

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Three Blue-spotted Salamanders, and egg masses, were found in 1988 in a vernal pond along Pocono Road near the intersection with Crane Road.  3 found in 2009.  (Radis 2008).

 

Species:  Four-toed Salamander

Scientific Name:  Hemidactylium scutatum

State Status:  Heritage Program S3, rare, declining (NJNHP 2001).

Status in Mountain Lakes:  Found along the edge of a red maple swamp in Frederick Park in 2007; in sphagnum on Yorke Rd near vernal pool complex in 2010. (Radis 2008)

Comments:  An elusive species which usually occurs in and near growths of Sphagnum moss in bogs and other wetlands.

Marbled Salamander