Last year, residents of Salisbury were invited to record all of their observations of vertebrate wildlife at a special page on this website. About 40 people submitted almost 400 observations during the course of the year. The observations included 203 different species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Most of these species were birds (see figure at left). Our tally probably did a much better job representing birds compared to some of Salisbury’s other animals because all that flying and singing makes birds more conspicuous than the other groups. Vermont has about 200 bird species which breed in the state, so our tally of 136 species probably missed quite a few that spend time in Salisbury. But we might have missed even more species of fish.
Click the image to enlarge.
There are more species of fish in the world and in North America than are in any of the other vertebrate groups. Our tally included observations of most of the important game fish in Salisbury, but probably missed many smaller species. We also missed a few mammals, especially some mice and shrew species, but also beaver.
We are lucky to have Vermont’s foremost herpetologist in town, so with Jim Andrews’ help we did a good job finding most of the reptiles and amphibians that live in Salisbury. We might have missed the ring-necked snake and red-bellied snake which probably live here.
If 203 species seems like a lot, remember that about 97% of all animal species are invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, snails, worms, etc) which were not included in our tally. Maybe next year.
You can see all the observations in spreadsheet form here. At some point we will also post the list of species here. [Update: Jim Andrews has done the final tally of the tally, and his results can be found here.]