Amphibian Crossing Guards
A study in Massachusetts showed close to 20% mortality rate of spotted salamanders during migration, per year. Salamanders have lifespans up to 20 years, but at that rate most will perish within five.
During the first warm rains of March, spotted salamanders emerge from deep dark places in the soil and begin an epic journey. They are returning to their natal pools to mate and lay eggs. They also cross roads and driveways, and here the slower-moving of them are often crushed into the roadbed.
Check out the profile of the spring 2020 event on WHYY here.
How to help
Drive with care: During March nights with precipitation, avoid driving or drive slowly on forested and rural roads, and watch the road for amphibians crossing.
Volunteer to chaperone: At hot spots for amphibian crossings in the Sourlands, volunteers and conservation professionals gather to help salamanders and frogs make it across the road. You’ll witness a nature spectacle and save lives at the same time.
Drive with care
It’s not just during the migration rains in March that one can witness large numbers of amphibians moving across roads in the Sourlands and throughout the region. Many frogs and salamanders move on wet nights when their skins are less vulnerable to desiccation. It’s typical to catch a glimpse of a hopping frog, illuminated in headlights, during warm rains from March to October. So please, drive with care.