Regarding this photo by Mario Miralles taken in Millard Canyon above Altadena, local wildlife biologist Lori Paul gave the play by play Wednesday as their breeding grounds were endangered by a shutoff of canyon water by the Lincoln Avenue Water Company:
California newts in “amplexus,” a newt “orgy” in which mating and egg laying occurs. Amplexus is currently occurring late in the season in Millard Creek and directly under Millard Falls in the gravel margins of the pool that is drying because LAWC has taken water from above the waterfall. Eggs and gilled larval newts that require water for their survival are being killed by LAWC’s “temporary” water diversions that have turned the creek to a pencil thin trickle or drying pools of mud. These endemic newts were killed by the Station Fire in other burned canyons; therefore, the Millard Canyon population is important for repopulating the region.