There are 57 species of amphibians that call the Commonwealth of Kentucky home, and during the cool, rainy, and wet season of late-winter into early-spring, most of them are on the move.

Kentucky Amphibian Breeding Habits

Whether terrestrial or aquatic, Kentucky is full of flourishing amphibian habitats. All of the frogs and toads that call Kentucky home lay eggs in water. Meanwhile, the salamanders of the state have different breeding habits.

Thirty-Five Species of Salamanders in Kentucky

Thirty-five species of Salamanders live in Kentucky. Ten of those species are terrestrial, leaving their eggs on damp earth. Twenty-five species are aquatic but they have varied preferences for where their eggs are laid.

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The terrestrial forms deposit their eggs in moist places on land, the eggs are brooded by the females, and all larval development takes place within the eggs. Those species with aquatic larval stages are themselves quite variable – 9 kinds only breed in ponds, 2 use swamps and/or wetlands, 2 utilize large streams and rivers, and 12 reproduce in springs, seeps, and headwater streams. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife pays close attention to 9 of the frog species and 14 of the salamander species in the state "due to a variety of conservation issues."

Photo by Andy Køgl on Unsplash

Wet and Warm and On the Move

Part of the reproductive cycle of amphibians in Kentucky involves them crawling out of their burrows when the weather is just right so they can lay their eggs. When the weather is wet and warms above freezing, but may still feel cool to humans - around 50 degrees - salamanders and other amphibians will be on the move.

Doing Your Part to Protect Amphibians

So how can you help? As the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife points out on their Facebook page, traveling from their burrows on dark, rainy nights can take these creatures across roadways. They say you can help by using caution when driving at night, particularly if you encounter an "amphibian crossing" sign during your travels.

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