April 3, 2013
Red back Salamander Study
A study at Fresh Pond Reservation has been initiated by naturalist Brooks
Mathewson, to find out whether or how many, small terrestrial salamanders
there are in the woods of the Reservation. Red back salamanders are
abundant throughout eastern North America. They live in moist conditions
under leaf litter and logs, where they eat small insects, earthworms,
spiders, and other arthropods. Unlike most other amphibians, they do
not require standing water for the development of their eggs and young.
It is not currently known whether there are any red backs at Fresh Pond.
This study is designed to attract salamanders to favorable hiding places
under hemlock boards. Three sets of eight 1x1 foot hemlock boards, were
placed about 10 meters apart in three different wooded areas. Brooks
will monitor the boards every 2 to 3 weeks, presumably within 48 hours
of precipitation. He will keep a record of any organisms found under
The photos show Brooks placing one of the boards, and a board in place.
The label says "Property of Cambridge Water Department. Research
in Progress. Do Not Touch. Questions to email@example.com."
Eastern Red-backed Salamander Monitoring Project Report
Eastern Red-backed Salamander Photos