Chileno Valley Newt Brigade
The Chileno Valley Newt Brigade is dedicated to saving the lives of newts and other amphibians as they cross Chileno Valley Road on their annual migration to and from their watery breeding grounds. The newts, taricha tarosa or water dogs, as they are called locally, live under leaf little and in abandoned holes under hillside trees above Laguna Lake. When the rainy season arrives, the newts emerge from their hiding places and slowly walk up to 5 miles to the lake, where they breed and lay their eggs.
Able to live to 30 years, regenerate lost limbs and survive fires, newts are no match for humans. Standing tall, and showing their bright orange bellies, the newts are often crushed by fast – moving trucks and cars.
Enter the Newt Brigade! Newt Brigade Volunteers spend each evening during the 3 plus months migration season walking the roadsides of Chileno Valley Road, looking for newts. When found, these tiny but determined creatures are given a lift to keep them out of harm’s way. Before placing them on the other side of the road, Volunteers photograph the newts and record data that will be used to find a better solution to the newts’ dilemma. This data can be found on iNaturalist.
Pacific Newts (California newts and rough-skinned newts), slender salamanders, red legged frogs and arboreal frogs all migrate across Chileno Valley Road. They deserve our protection!
NEWT ACTIVITY SUMMARY
2019-2020 was our first year. See the results of the data we collect.
For more information on the newts status, life cycle and habits, visit californiaherps.org
If you wish to become part of our volunteer effort or to help in any other way, please contact us using the form below.
Chileno Valley Newt Brigade Volunteer Form
Historical 2004 California Coastal Cleanup Day Poster