Keyword: forest edge

Fire Salamander & Bsal & Predators

I have not been out at night (outside my property) for ages looking for fire salamanders .... At home I could not find any fire salamanders in the garden for about 4 years, which surprised me very much. Ok ... one does not always find animals but at mating time it was always a guarantee to find animals in my garden ... so why not now? Was it maybe because of Bsal? I don't know ... but ... I could make an interesting observation in the garden two days ago ... more about this in a moment ...

I met up with a good "old" salamander friend (Michael Harris) around 8pm and we decided to drive down an old and almost untraveled road through a forest (here in 66955 Pirmasens) very slowly. Without much hope we drove the first hundred meters of the road and were more than surprised when we found the first little beauty in proud posture in the middle of the road - the joy was huge 😊

OK ... we thought ... just lucky ... but we were hugely mistaken (luckily!) and found one after the other - AWESOME! In total we found 10 animals in 45 minutes - then we turned back.

Again to the beginning ... why do I find no more animals in my garden? A few days ago I was once again around 22 o'clock in the garden with headlamp on the way (I live on the edge of the forest) ... and what do I see there in about 30 meters in the darkness? Two big eyes look at me and pause ....then a short sprint along the fence up the slope. OK ... what is that? I thought ... I want to see that! A short sprint from me on the straight followed and I had cut off the "unknown creature" and a direct confrontation was the result .... about 1 meter distance separated me from equal TWO fat, really big and crouched on the ground raccoons, which then in seconds put the reverse gear and disappeared with Karacho in the darkness.
At some point I asked myself the question ... who eats our fire salamanders anyway? I had once heard that raccoons eat toads, which are also poisonous ... how do they do that without getting hurt? So I immediately started to do some research ... actually quite simple ... they twist and turn the toads and then pull off their skin and then eat the contents, so to speak 😱 I thought to myself .... make the possibly not stop at our fire salamander?
I have found the following video .... looks times starting from minute 2.30 (source Youtube (Science & Nature)) 

Red fox, raccoon and fire salamander