Burlington, Ont., March 9, 2015 – The City of Burlington will be closing King Road from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road March 15 to April 6 to allow the endangered Jefferson Salamander safe passage during its annual breeding migration.
The Jefferson Salamander is a nationally and provincially protected endangered species. Each year, since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for an approximate three-week period.
“The Jefferson Salamander is a valuable part of the ecosystem in Burlington,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Working closely with Conservation Halton, the city is committed to doing what it can to assist in the protection and recovery of this endangered species.”
“Conservation Halton would like to commend the City of Burlington for closing King Road once again to protect the Jefferson Salamander, this is a great example of the relationship we have with our community partners,” said Hassaan Basit, General Manager, Conservation Halton. “It can be challenging to determine when is the best time to close King Road as spring weather can be unpredictable, particularly this year, however we feel confident based on the advice of our ecology staff who make the call on the best science and information available.”
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. Several forested areas in Burlington provide the necessary breeding, summer and overwintering habitats required by this species.
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 and become air-breathing (like the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs) and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.
Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds in mid-March or early April during wet rainy nights. They show strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes requiring them to cross busy roads.
To learn more about the Jefferson Salamander, visit the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website.
Conservation Halton is committed to preserving native biodiversity and protecting species at risk through activities such as protection of natural heritage systems, the creation of wildlife corridors, and increased public awareness through education, outreach and partnerships with local organizations.
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