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Help move amphibians to safety

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Posted on March 29, 2018 |
By Addison Independent



Don't squish the frogs.jpg
JOE ALEXANDER WITH a whopper spotted salamander. Photo/Toby Alexander

ADDISON COUNTY — In early spring amphibians abandon the protection of their upland wintering sites to move to lower, wetter sites where they gather and lay eggs. Some amphibians put themselves in jeopardy by crossing roads to get to their reproductive sites. Depending on local vehicle traffic, entire amphibian populations can be wiped out in the process.

Otter Creek Audubon and the Salisbury Conservation Commission have assisted amphibians at an important road crossing in Salisbury for over a decade. The site is ideal from the human perspective. Hundreds of salamanders and frogs of seven species cross here, and it has little vehicle traffic on warm, wet nights when amphibians are likely to move. It offers a predictable opportunity for people to observe a dramatic natural spectacle and to monitor an amphibian migration in relative safety.

To witness this remarkable migration and help perpetuate it, Otter Creek Audubon and the Salisbury Conservation Commission ask you to sign up to receive an email alert on the morning of a projected big movement during the movement window between Monday, March 26 and Sunday, April 15 and then a confirming email at about 6 p.m. Movement starts around 8:15 p.m and may run for several hours, weather permitting.

Volunteers may arrive and leave when they wish. Volunteers are responsible for their own safety and the safety of others in their group. At this site traffic is infrequent and slow. Upon arrival we provide tips on species identification and appropriate human behavior. Data collectors will record the numbers of each species that volunteers move during the first two hours. Email [email protected] to sign up for the 2018 amphibian email alert list.

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