The Eastern Red-Spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is one of the most widely distributed salamander species in North America. As with many pond-breeding amphibians, little is known about the terrestrial portion of its life cycle. We examined the activities of terrestrial efts and emigrating, postbreeding adults at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Giles County, Virginia, using fluorescent powder tracking. Neither life cycle stage, sex, nor mass affected the distance newts traveled, but emigrating adults traveled in straighter paths than juveniles. Temperature and rainfall affected whether newts emerged from refuge, whereas rainfall and humidity affected the distance traveled of those that emerged. Newts were often found on or close to the surface, using forest debris for cover, and no newts of any stage were observed using subterranean habitat. Our results indicate that newts are wide-ranging and active in the terrestrial habitat postbreeding. We found fluorescent powder tracking to be effective in the field for multiday tracking with some limitations caused by weather and distance. Our results have implications for the conservation of wide-ranging amphibian species, which may travel long distances from wetlands into terrestrial habitat, outside of protective buffer zones.
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