“Eastern Tiger Salamander,” James Fiorentino

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Eastern Tiger Salamander Original Available for Sale

Adults of the Eastern Tiger Salamander are rarely seen in the open, but the artist James Fiorentino has captured the vivid coloration that give these amphibians their names. Though these striped beauties are the most widely distributed salamander in North America, they have become endangered throughout much of the Northwest. State endangered in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, and once common along the Eastern Seaboard, the Eastern Tiger Salamander has already been extirpated from Pennsylvania, and its numbers are declining. In New Jersey, Eastern Tiger Salamanders are limited to 15 known breeding pools. Like all mole salamanders, the Eastern Tiger Salamander remains loyal to its birthplace, often traveling long distances to return home.

ex / tir / pate: 1. to remove or destroy completely 2. also known as ‘local extinction;’ the condition of a species that ceases to exist in a specific geographic area.

Like other ‘mole’ salamanders, the Eastern Tiger Salamander spends a significant amount of time underground, using their spade-like heads to dig down into burrows around 2 feet from the surface. These deeper burrows help extend their geographic range – with the ability to dig comes a better chance to find a suitable humidity underground in a wide range of habitats. Though Eastern Tiger Salamanders were once found up and down the coast, these days they are limited mostly to the Cape May area, in a delicate system of vernal pools necessary for breeding – when the conditions aren’t right, the salamanders aren’t able to breed that year.

In other parts of the country tiger salamanders are so plentiful they are sold as bait, but in New Jersey the Cape May population has been dwindling and the area is susceptible to saltwater intrusion,so over the last several years a concerted effort has been made to restore their numbers. For more information on Eastern Tiger Salamander conservation efforts, visit Conserve Wildlife.

“Fisher Cat,” James Fiorentino

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Fisher Cat Original Available for Sale

Once hunted to extirpation for their dense and silky fur, the Fisher Cat has made a remarkable comeback in its native historical range. In the not-so-distant past the Fisher Cat was thought to be restricted to the boreal forests of Canada. With closed hunting seasons, habitat recovery and reintroduction the Fishers have come to reoccupy much of its previous range, though in much smaller numbers. Following local sightings, cameras were set up in the Kittatinny Ridge of New Jersey in 2005. After a year of surveillance, three photos finally captured the elusive fisher. Since then numerous sightings have confirmed the return of the fisher to this part of the world.

Clever, carnivorous hunters, Fisher Cats are one of few predators of porcupines, employing an elaborate technique to capture its prey. Though they prefer prey like snowshoe hares, fisher cats are opportunistic omnivores and will eat mushrooms and fruit if necessary. For more on local conservation efforts visit Conserve Wildlife.