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A “Big Night” For Amphibians

March 14, 2016

The first few weeks of spring is a magical time of change in the Downeast Lakes region.  Winter weakens its icy grip, tree buds begin to swell, familiar bird songs are heard, and many creatures celebrate the growing hours of daylight.  For frogs and salamanders, their big night awaits…

Every year in April, countless species of amphibians welcome the arrival of spring with what’s known in naturalist circles as the “big night.”  On the first warm, rainy night of spring, when temperatures hover well above the 40-degree mark, amphibians emerge from their winter hideouts in huge numbers.  A mass exodus of frogs, toads, and salamanders makes the forest floor come alive, as these moisture-loving critters make their way to vernal pools to mate and lay eggs.  If you have never experienced a “big night,” you are missing out on one of nature’s most unique events!

Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s Education and Outreach Manager, Colin Brown, will be leading a “Big Night Amphibian Walk” to celebrate this annual migration.  Due to the unpredictable timing of this natural phenomena, interested participants must pre-register for the program by contacting Colin at (207) 796 – 2100 or email  We will be watching the forecast closely and Colin will contact participants when the right weather conditions occur.  To learn more about the “big night” and its importance to biologists and conservation groups, click here.