On April 12, 2018

Amphibians begin perilous migration, drivers asked to slow down

Submitted

Motorists are asked to help stem frog carnage on springtime roadways.

Driving home at night on a rainy spring night, have you ever come upon a mass migration of little frogs on the pavement in front of you? Does the popping sound under your tires make you cringe?

One of the great wildlife migrations is happening right now in Vermont, and it’s taking place right at our feet. Amphibians are on the move, but their spring breeding migration can too often become deadly. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department asks drivers to report highway “hotspots” where frogs and salamanders are killed in large numbers.

Amphibians migrate by the thousands each spring in search of breeding pools. This migration frequently takes them across roads and highways where they are killed by vehicles, which contributes to species’ decline in Vermont, according to biologist Jens Hilke with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

“Frogs and salamanders become active on rainy spring nights,” said Hilke. “On these nights, drivers should slow down on roads near ponds and wetlands or try to use an alternate route. These amphibian ‘hotspots’ can lead to the death of thousands of animals on a single night.”

Hilke is asking drivers to report these hotspots, or areas with large numbers of frogs and salamanders that cross the road all at once. They can contact the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas by emailing Jim Andrews at jandrews@vtherpatlas.org.

“We work hard to identify these hotspots and to mitigate the problem whenever possible to help give these animals a better chance of survival,” said Hilke.

The Fish & Wildlife Department is working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation to include culverts and wildlife barriers in road construction plans to allow wildlife, from frogs to moose, to more safely cross the road. The town of Monkton has completed a highway project that is aimed at providing amphibians with a safe way to cross under the road.

Conservation officials and volunteers also work together on rainy spring nights to slow traffic and manually move amphibians across the road.

The North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier is looking for additional volunteers to adopt and monitor sites throughout central Vermont this spring. If you are interested in becoming an amphibian crossing guard or would like more information about the program, call 802-229-6206 or send them an email at info@northbranchnaturecenter.org.

Vermonters who want to contribute to the Fish & Wildlife Department’s work to help frogs and amphibians can donate to the Nongame Wildlife Fund on line 29 of their state income tax form.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

United Way of Rutland County names new exc. director

May 22, 2024
The United Way of Rutland County (UWRC) announced the appointment of Tina Van Guilder as its new executive director, May 17.  Van Guilder officially assumed her role as executive director May 6. With over seven years of direct non-profit leadership experience in the Rutland County area, coupled with recent roles focusing on grant coordination, budget…

Three reasons I’m voting ‘Yes’ for the new school build

February 28, 2024
Dear Editor, As a full-time Killington resident, here are three reasons why I’m voting for the new school build. First, the time is now. As others have indicated in previous letters, seven years of school boards have been working on this project. Over the course of that time, volunteer school board members, community members, and…

Suspect arrested in shooting of 3 Palestinian American students

November 29, 2023
  By Alan J. Keays/VTDigger Burlington Police say they have arrested a suspect in the shooting Saturday night that wounded three young Palestinian American men. The three men, all 20 years old, were in Burlington visiting relatives of one of the men over the Thanksgiving holiday when the shooting took place around 6:30 p.m. Saturday…

Governor Scott appoints five Superior Court judges

November 22, 2023
  Governor Phil Scott announced Nov. 17 his appointment of five Vermont Superior Court Judges: Benjamin Battles of Waterbury, Susan McManus of Manchester Center, Rachel Malone of South Burlington, Alexander Burke of Arlington, and Navah Spero of Richmond. “As I have often said, selecting judges is one of the most important responsibilities for any governor,”…