Living in the northern foothold of the Appalachians in the Canadian province of Quebec is the Northern Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus). These salamanders are listed as Threatened by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) due to their dwindling numbers and specific habitat. Spring Salamanders are found in or near cool mountain streams that have a rocky bottom.
Threats to the continuation of the Northern Spring Salamanders in the Quebec population are residential encroachment, recreation and tourism, wind power generation and groundwater pumping for various uses. Other threats to the species includes logging, fish introduction, climate change, agriculture production, and alteration of surface water quality by acid rain and de-icing salts.
On September 8th 2016 I ventured to the green mountain foothills in Quebec in hopes to observe the Northern Spring Salamander. After a 3 and a half hour drive from my home, I arrived at the green mountain range. I immediately found a path going down the mountainside beside a fast flowing stream running down the mountain, so I began looking in the water hoping to spot a Spring Salamander in the water. After looking for just half an hour I was pleasantly surprised to look down and see a Spring Salamander!
After admiring this salamander for several minutes and getting a video I ventured on down the mountain seeing what else I could find. I managed to find nine Northern Dusky Salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus), as well as several Eastern Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). After admiring these lovely creatures I headed back up the mountain to the car.
All in all the trip was a success and I had a great time admiring these animals.
Written by: Clint Fulsom – Save The Salamanders