Endangered species will close down Burlington street

Published March 13, 2023 at 4:51 pm

Burlington Jefferson salamander King crossing
A portion of King Road in Burlington has reopened after endangered Jefferson salamander have crossed safely.

A section of a Burlington street will close for a month so that an endangered species can cross the road.

The closure will take place on King Rd. from North Service Rd. to Mountain Brow Rd. to allow the safe passage of the Jefferson salamander during its breeding migration.

The stretch of road will be closed from March 16 through April 12. Local traffic for all properties between North Service Road and the escarpment will be maintained.

Since 2012, Burlington has closed the same section of road for the salamanders to cross which has proven to be a lifesaver for the creatures. They are a nationally and provincially protected endangered species.

Jefferson salamanders spend most of their lives underground. As the weather warms up and the spring rains begin, the salamanders emerge and migrate to breed in temporary ponds formed by run-off, laying their eggs in clumps attached to underwater vegetation. Adults leave the ponds after breeding. By late summer, the larvae lose their gills, become air-breathing juveniles and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.

Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds during wet rainy nights. They show a strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes causing them to cross busy roads.

The Jefferson salamander is grey or brown-coloured back, with lighter underparts. Blue flecks may be present on the sides and limbs. They can grow up to 20 cm long and the tail makes up half their length. The salamander can live as long as 30 years.



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