Frosted Flatwoods Salamanders
Populations of Frosted Flatwoods Salamanders can only be found in fewer than 30 sites throughout the U.S, and the Refuge is one of those sites. These salamanders live in seasonally wet flatwoods (preferably in regions populated by longleaf pines), and they breed in shallow ponds. While the ponds on the Refuge were once numerous, these watery environments have now been reduced to only six, with just two of the ponds containing populations of salamanders.
Larva of the salamanders have a very low survival rate. However, Refuge staff and Carney Interns have isolated breeding ponds and have trapped larva. Larva are then relocated and monitored in a more protected environment so that possibilities of predation are much reduced. This intervention is helping to increase the salmanders' likelihood of survival. In the winter months of 2016, there were 93 Frosted Flatwoods Salamander larvae collected that were then raised in large cattle tanks. Following, they were returned (and tagged) to their birth pond after metamorphosis.
As of mid-year 2016, another pond (previously not documented) has been identified as an environment for the salamanders. This and a U.S Fish and Wildlife Service grant that provides for new, temporary staff for this project will help promote the distribution and strength of this fragile community of salamanders.