For one common local species, the California newt, winter rains and internal hormonal changes will announce the start of their annual migration. California newts emerge from their terrestrial homes, under logs or rocks, and head toward the pond, marsh or stream in which they were born. Here, they will breed.
During their determined pilgrimage, hundreds travel across the open forest floor. One would think that lurking predators might easily pick off the newts. However, these little amphibians are protected by bumps on the surface of their skin that contain a deadly poison. This poison attacks the nervous system of any animal foolish enough to prey on the newt.
Hazards presented by humans can make their journey treacherous, for the newts will often cross roads like Highway 1. Crossing highways can be a dangerous and fatal event for these tiny migrants.