The pond breeders

Six species of amphibian are considered native to Southeast Alaska. Three anurans (the order of frogs and toads) are western toad, wood frog, and Columbia spotted frog. Three known caudates (the order of newts and salamanders) include rough-skinned newt, long-toed salamander, and northwestern salamander.
In addition to these native species, two frogs from the Pacific Northwest have been introduced: Pacific chorus frog and red-legged frog.

Reproductive stages of Southeast amphibians. Shown to scale; note shrinkage with metamorphosis. Dates are from Juneau observations: a) toad eggs in strings of jelly; b) wood frog eggs in softball-sized mass; c) newt egg deposited singly—coiled embryo soon to hatch; d) toad larva is dark charcoal—dorsal fin starts farther back than on larval frogs; e) frog larva more olive brown—dorsal fin attaches well forward of tail; f) newt larva has antler-like gills; g) toadlet has fat, warty body, and small hind legs; h) froglet has smoother skin and legs are more muscular than on toadlets; i) unlike anurans, newt metamorphs are proportioned like adults.

Reproductive stages of Southeast amphibians. Shown to scale; note shrinkage with metamorphosis. Dates are from Juneau observations: a) toad eggs in strings of jelly; b) wood frog eggs in softball-sized mass; c) newt egg deposited singly—coiled embryo soon to hatch; d) toad larva is dark charcoal—dorsal fin starts farther back than on larval frogs; e) frog larva more olive brown—dorsal fin attaches well forward of tail; f) newt larva has antler-like gills; g) toadlet has fat, warty body, and small hind legs; h) froglet has smoother skin and legs are more muscular than on toadlets; i) unlike anurans, newt metamorphs are proportioned like adults.

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More Information

Auke Lake Trail Interpretive Signs

This three-part sign array offers information on the natural history, geology, and bio-culture of the Auke Lake Trail. You can download the three signs below:

Introduction (3MB): PDF_Download

Geology (2MB): PDF_Download

Bioculture (2MB): PDF_Download

 

Common Tracks Guide

Tracking has been a core activity in Discovery programs for years.  This pocket guide provides tracking tips for common mammals and birds of Southeast, helping students, teachers, and budding naturalists read the signs of non-human inhabitants in the landscape.

 

Browse the entire booklet in the “Description” field below, or download here (2.3MB): PDF_Download
You can purchase a physical copy, or make a donation below.

Habitat Use of Amphibians in Northern Southeast Alaska

This is a study of six amphibian species in Southeast Alaska.  In this study you will find detailed information on population numbers and habitats.  You will also find analyses of pond origin types, and amphibian natural history observations.  Amphibian populations are in danger across North America, and this study lays an important foundation for future studies on toads, frogs, salamanders, and newts in Southeast.

Download Here (5.9MB): PDF_Download

 

 

Streamwalking

$9.00

Our laminated tri-fold guide to Streamwalking is the guide you’ll want in your pocket when you’re bushwacking in the Tongass.  It covers a variety of common plants and animals of Southeast Alaskan streams and ponds.  Top your waders all you want, it can take a dunk.

Western Toad declines

Mysterious declines

As most longtime Southeast residents are aware, we’ve suffered a major decline in western toad, recently renamed Anaxyrus boreas boreas (formerly Bufo boreas).

Like human fingerprints, the distinctive pattern of bumps on a toad’s back is retained throughout the animal’s life. We suspect Alaskan toads live longer than their southern counterparts. ID photos like these, in places where you may encounter the same individual in future years, can help to document life span. Please don’t handle toads bare handed; it can transmit disease, or put them at risk from bug dope or sunscreen.

Like human fingerprints, the distinctive pattern of bumps on a toad’s back is retained throughout the animal’s life. We suspect Alaskan toads live longer than their southern counterparts. ID photos like these, in places where you may encounter the same individual in future years, can help to document life span. Please don’t handle toads bare handed; it can transmit disease, or put them at risk from bug dope or sunscreen.

In summer, 2014, at the north end of the City & Borough of Juneau, we saw more toads than Juneau naturalists have observed since the mid-1980s. They were all in the yearling age class, indicating a highly successful breeding year in 2013.

Wildlife “Out the Road”

This is a report from Richard Carstensen  to the Southeast Alaska Land Trust on habitats and wildlife use of glacially-rebounding valleys from 25 to 28-mile Glacier Highway in Juneau. They call this area “risen valleys,” and in the report you can trace animal use and habitat descriptions for this remarkable portion of Southeast Alaska. This report contains extensive habitat descriptions, photographs, and animal descriptions.

Download Here (4.2MB): PDF_Download