Burlington, Ont. – March 3, 2017— The City of Burlington will be closing King Road from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road from March 9 to 30 to provide the endangered Jefferson salamander safe passage during its annual breeding migration.
The Jefferson salamander is a nationally and provincially protected endangered species. Since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for an approximate three-week period.
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 strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes requiring them to cross busy roads.
Hassaan Basit, CAO, Conservation Halton
“The annual closure of King Road by the City of Burlington reinforces Conservation Halton’s promise to form partnerships which enable us to better protect our natural environment, in this case an endangered species, and we thank the city for their continued enthusiastic support. Our ecology staff used monitoring data to recommend this closure and we believe this is of tremendous value to the community.”
Mayor Rick Goldring
“The City of Burlington is proud of its partnership with Conservation Halton and its commitment to doing what it can to assist in the protection and recovery of this endangered 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.
- 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
Jefferson salamander – photo credit: Conservation Halton
Phone: 905-335-7600, ext. 7483
Manager, Communications Services
Phone: 905-336-1158, ext. 2233