An incredible wildlife migration occurs in Laramie every spring on rainy nights. Hundreds of Western tiger salamanders, the Wyoming state amphibian and a species of conservation concern, migrate en masse from Laramie yards to LaBonte Pond. Here, they will breed, laying thousands of eggs in the pond. After a few weeks, these eggs will hatch, and small, aquatic salamander young will emerge. Their feathery gills help them take in oxygen from the water, as they traverse the bottom of the pond in search of insect larvae to munch on. Towards the end of the summer, these tiger salamander undergo metamorphosis to become terrestrial adult salamanders. They migrate back to the yards around LaBonte Park, where they spend the rest of the year until the following spring in underground burrows.
Many adult salamanders are killed when they cross the roads to get to LaBonte Pond in the spring. Many drivers do not know the salamanders exist, and they are small and difficult to see on rainy nights if you don’t know to look for them! You can help Laramie’s tiger salamanders by assisting with their migration and reporting your salamander sightings.