Hey I’m gonna be in the Northern Virginia area till the end of March and was hoping to catch some of the early amphibian emergences while I’m still close to all the salamander and frog diversity of the Appalachian Mountains. I’m just not too familiar with the phenology of most species or where could places to go would be. Anyone know any groups that do trips in WV/VA? Or would any of y’all wanna meet up for a herping trip?
NOVA has a surprisingly robust group of herpers. I would reach out to the Virginia Herpetology Society for their 2020 herp surveys (which are always a blast). There are also a number of groups that may have some A. maculatum walks as we head into March (migration period for the species). See below:
There are a lot of other really great organizations and groups in the area that may have events focused on herps, but may not have events planned because of the fickle march weather of the area. The organizations I mentioned above have great properties for herping. The managers are also very happy for interested persons to scope out any critters.
A few other places in the area (of NOVA) that might be good for emergence are:
- Huntley Meadows State Park
- Shenandoah National Park
- Sky Meadows State Park
- Prince William Forest Park
- Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve
The Mason Neck peninsula is a very good place to see amphibians. There is a wide variety of habitats there, most notably an abundance of vernal pools. All of Fairfax County’s frog species, as well as a variety of salamander species, can be found on the Mason Neck Peninsula.
The road leading into Mason Neck State Park has a lot of vernal pools along it.
The best way to find amphibians on the peninsula is to go road cruising at night during or just after rain on the main road there (Gunston Road).
Hope this is helpful!
Good to know! I’ll have to check that one out. I’ve only considered Mason Neck for bird watching.