*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — March 13, 2023 — As we move closer to the arrival of spring, a section of King Road will be closed to allow for the annual passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration. Starting on Thursday, March 16, King Road, from North Service Road to Mountain Brow Road, will be closed so the salamanders can cross the road safely. Local traffic for all properties between North Service Road and the escarpment will be maintained. King Road will reopen for through traffic on Wednesday, April 12, once the salamanders are expected to finish their annual crossing.
Since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for the salamanders to cross. They are a nationally and provincially protected endangered species.
“Thank you to residents of Ward 1 and the entire community who do their part every year to help protect Jefferson salamander populations in our city. The road closure is an invaluable tool that plays an important role in conserving this beloved amphibian.” — Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, City of Burlington
“Conservation Halton’s commitment to the preservation and protection of the natural environment and all of its rich biodiversity is made stronger through partnerships like the ones we have with the City of Burlington. It is our shared focus and the action we take today that will help to ensure this protected species returns to its habitat in healthy numbers for years to come.” — Hassaan Basit, President & CEO, Conservation Halton
About the Jefferson salamander
In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along the Niagara Escarpment.
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.
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- The Jefferson salamander is protected at both the provincial and national levels. It was added to Ontario’s endangered species list in 2011.
- Jefferson salamanders have a grey or brown-coloured back, with lighter under-parts. Blue flecks may be present on the sides and limbs.
- Adult Jefferson salamanders are 12 to 20 cm long. The long tail makes up half this length.
- Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time; up to 30 years of age.
Links and Resources:
- Learn more about the Jefferson salamander
- Learn more about Conservation Halton