Salamanders in Colorado Don’t Need to Live Near Water and Toads Love Rain
The recent abundant and unusual rainfall in Colorado has brought several amphibians to the surface of the ground in normally very dry places. It's likely you've seen social media posts or stories of people finding salamanders and toads for the first time in the last week or so.
My friend in Franktown, Colorado found this Western tiger salamander near her barn. She has lived there for 3 years and has never seen a salamander or a toad. That face is just too cute.
If you've heard that these salamanders are poisonous, it's sorta true. Amphibian Planet says "Tiger salamanders produce mildly poisonous secretions from special glands on their tail, which makes them taste bad to predators. These secretions are merely irritating to humans but can be fatal to other small animals, such as mice and other amphibians."
My daughter's friend in Elizabeth, Colorado took this photo of her collection of over 100 toads after the heavy rains.
If you're like me, you thought salamanders only lived near ponds and lakes. So, how do salamanders all of a sudden start showing up in super dry areas just because of rain? What about toads? Hundreds of toads show up where in the previous years only 1 or 2 have been spotted. Where have these Colorado amphibians been?
They've been in the ground just waiting for rain. Salamanders and other amphibians found in Colorado can survive as long as they can easily burrow into the ground. So, loose dirt is their friend. They don't have to be near water to survive as long as they can bury their body.