Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Creepy Crawlies at Calaveras Dam

Happy Halloween from the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project! 

The Sunol Valley is naturally decorated for Halloween thanks to the “spooky” tarantulas coming out this time of year.  That’s right.  It’s tarantula season and just in time for Halloween. 

The California brown tarantula (Aphonopelma sp.) heads out of its burrow at Calaveras Dam in search of romance.

Turns out that after five plus years of living alone (maturing in a burrow), male tarantulas head out in the fall to find a female mate. 

After mating, the males tend to die a few months later.  By stark contrast, females live for 20 plus years in silk-lined burrows.   Talk about luxury!

And how many babies do these productive moms create?  The number ranges from 75 to hundreds per year.

Our goal is to keep these native species safe from harm while we build the replacement Calaveras Dam.  On a daily basis, our environmental inspectors work closely with construction staff to identify any wildlife on the move through the site. 

Even the spooky ones!  

See you around the Valley!

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