On the land: Rough-skinned Newt alert

Jean Macgregor
Rough-skinned Newt crossing road at RRU

A number of sharp-eyed staff members reported the appearance of Rough-skinned Newts (Taricha granulosa) on campus roads and trails this week. Native to forests and wetlands common to the Royal Roads grounds, these members of the Salamander family may be identified by their orange bellies and dry, rough skin.

Although docile, slow-moving and non-aggressive, Rough-skinned Newts may secret a neurotoxin from their skin when agitated.

Members of the campus community are advised to to avoid bare-handed newt touching. When moving newts out of harm's way on campus roads, wear gloves or use a sturdy leaf. And if you do make skin-to-skin contact with a newt, wash your hands.

Recommended read available in the Royal Roads library:

Green, D. M. & Campbell, R. W. (1984). The Amphibians of British Columbia. Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum. Call number QL654 G74 1984