Newsletter Signup

King Road closure in Burlington for annual Jefferson salamander migration starts March 18

Conservation Halton photo.
Conservation Halton photo.

It’s that time of year again — the annual closure of King Road in Burlington starts Monday, March 18 to ensure the safe passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during its breeding migration period.

The roadway will be closed from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road for about four weeks. Our city has shut down King Road every year since 2012 for the species of salamander, which is a nationally- and provincially-protected endangered species.

“The annual closure of King Road by the City of Burlington reinforces Conservation Halton’s promise to form partnerships, which enable us to better protected our natural environment, in this case, an endangered species. Our ecologists use monitoring data to recommend the timing and duration of the road closure to maximize its impact on the species while keeping disruption, due to the closure, down to a minimum. Our monitoring has shown a measurable positive impact on the Jefferson salamander population due to these once-a-year road closures. I would like to thank the city and community. Their efforts are helping in the recovery of this species.” — Hassaan Basit, Conservation Halton CAO

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 the majority 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 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 requiring them to cross busy roads.

Quick Facts

  • 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 between 12 to 20 centimetres 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.

Links and Resources

Click the links to learn more about the Jefferson salamander and Conservation Halton


Together with Conservation Halton, the City of Burlington is very proud of its efforts to aid in the survival and recovery of this rare species. Since the first full road closure in 2012, there has been no road mortality of Jefferson salamanders observed by Conservation Halton staff during the road closure period. We are happy to play a small role in protecting the salamanders while raising awareness about their endangered status.


What's your take?

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607

Constituent Assistant: Annemarie Cumber
905-335-7600, ext. 7689