A local resident in the Camino Encantado neighborhood of Barranca Mesa recently had a surprise when she was cleaning out her garden pond. She saw something in the water that she couldn’t identify, “about a foot long”, she said! PEEC helped her to identify it as a tiger salamander. It was a male, in breeding condition.
Though common, tiger salamanders are rarely seen, as they usually stay underground. In spring, they seek any body of water they can find in order to reproduce. It wasn’t clear whether this fellow had spent the winter in the pond, or had just arrived this spring in search of a mate.
You never know what surprises you might find right in your own back yard!