Salamanders have crossed the road, traffic flows in Burlington again

Published April 14, 2023 at 9:21 am

A month-long migration of a rare amphibian is complete and a busy Burlington road has now re-opened.

The Jefferson salamander has completed its yearly trek and is now safely in the right location to work on reproduction after several months of hibernation.

During the salamander’s voyage from one side of the street to the other, King Rd. has been closed but as of this week, commuters are back using the route.

The precautions to keep the salamander safe is due to its status as an endangered species in Ontario and its importance to the local ecosystem. While a predator in its own right for keeping insects in check, the Jefferson serves as prey for snakes, rodents and birds.

With its biggest obstacle being the loss of habitat, much is being done to keep the salamander safe, thus the closing of King Rd. which links Burlington to a section of Hamilton. The road is closed for about a month each year to keep the salamander safe from traffic while it travels from its winter home to the breeding ground.

While there are no official counts have how many salamanders travel the route, the annual closing of the road appears to be successful as a large number of Jeffersons continue to make the voyage each year.

When left undisturbed, the gray-coloured Jefferson salamander can grow up to 20 centimetres and live as long as 30 years. It is found only in Ontario, generally near the Niagara Escarpment but has been found in places such as Mississauga and Brampton.






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