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News from the Hudson River Estuary Program

Why Did the Salamander Cross the Road?

A hand holds a small dark salamander with yellow spots.

A mild winter and recent warm days have spurred an early start to the annual breeding migrations of species like spotted salamander and wood frog. As the ground begins to thaw, these forest amphibians emerge from underground shelters and move to small, temporary wetlands called woodland pools. They migrate on rainy nights when evening temperatures remain above 40F, usually in March and April, and large numbers often arrive at the breeding pools on the same few nights each season. Their journeys overland can be as far as a half-mile, and roads often bisect the forests where they live. They are especially vulnerable during road crossings, so volunteers in the Hudson River estuary watershed are locating these crossings, documenting the migration, and assisting the amphibians safely across roads.

For more information, visit DEC’s Amphibian Migrations & Road Crossings webpage or subscribe to the Amphibian Migrations & Road Crossings newsletter.

Watch a short video about the project.

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