On December 13, 2011, we conducted the Black Warrior Waterdog survey. The river was packed with leaves, which is a good sign. In the first leaf pack we netted there was a small larval waterdog. That was good news! This means that from our surveys last year, the adults in this population are successfully breeding. We found a few other salamanders that are sympatric with N. alabamensis; the Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber), Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus sp.), and Two-lined Salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera).
We were almost a third of the way upstream and we were no longer finding waterdogs. The season seemed a little behind what we observed last year. It was warmer outside, even though the water temperature was still pretty cold. And, the leaf packs were still fresh – the leaves weren’t decomposed yet. In the past, we’ve noticed the waterdogs like to be near the shore line and in leaf packs that are more decomposed. We continued to push further upstream; farther than we’ve ever found waterdogs before.
Surprisingly we found two larvae. We found five total.