Salamander Crossing Brigades

Photo by Dina Kail

Photo by Dina Kail

Each spring, a group of amphibians migrate from their forest habitat to the small wetlands where they congregate to breed. You have all heard the choruses of spring peepers, but how often have you seen one of these tiny frogs? How about a wood frog? And how often have you seen the largest salamander species in Vermont, the spotted salamander? All of these are abundant (if seldom seen) amphibians—but that will change in places where they must cross roads to reach their breeding pools. For many years, BEEC has been organizing Salamander Crossing Brigades, volunteers who help amphibians reach their breeding habitat by giving them a lift across roads.

The volunteers who help with this project not only save the lives of individual amphibians, but they help to safeguard populations of frogs and salamanders. As a reward, crossing guard volunteers have the opportunity to see oodles of amazing amphibians.

Become inspired to be a salamander crossing guard with the salamander breakdance

Learn about becoming a salamander crossing guard here.

Salamander Season, 2015

Thank you to all of the valiant salamander crossing guards who got out on rainy nights in April to help migrating amphibians safely reach their breeding pools!

For the first time in several years we had perfect conditions for salamander migration during the hours when traffic guards are needed (from dusk until traffic slows). April 20 and 22 were the biggest migration nights. While getting salamanders and frogs safely across roads is our priority, getting a sense of numbers of amphibians at different sites is also helpful. From the reports that have come in, we know that we helped at least 1,025 spotted salamanders, 12 Jeffersons salamanders, 944 wood frogs, and 348 peepers survive another hazardous migration season.

At most crossing sites, volunteers see 15 to 30 salamanders and about the same number of frogs, there are several sites where 100-200 salamanders, and about as many frogs need crossing guards for safe passage. This year the Hinesburg Road site in Guilford and Grimes Hill Road in Williamsville reported hundreds of salamanders and frogs.

Visit the photo gallery here .