Presque Isle Park In Marquette Closing For A Month For Salamander Crossing
I've seen signs all over Michigan that warn that deer may cross the road, and we've all seen cars stop as a mother duck and her little ducklings cross a road, but this park in Marquette, MI has such a large salamander population that apparently they're going to have to close the park down in order to allow them to safely cross. When the salamanders go to mate in spring up north, they have to cross a roadway in the heavily forested park, so it's being closed for a month to allow for safe travel, and for good reason too.
Eli Bieri is a biology student at Northern Michigan University, and he told the Free Press that this will save literally hundreds of salamanders from being killed by drivers. In 2019 he did a study and found 429 dead salamanders on the road, and those are just the one's that weren't scavenged by animals. He told the Free Press he wants to try and keep their numbers as high as possible:
We would see thousands and thousands of salamanders crossing the street in just one night. It was really amazing, until we see cars zip by and squish salamanders. That really troubled me, it kept me awake at night. Blue spotted salamanders are not an endangered species, but their range is so small.
The Blue-spotted salamander is just one of the species found in Michigan, along with the Eastern newt, Eastern tiger salamander, Four-toed salamander, Marbled salamander, Mudpuppy, Red-backed salamander, Small-mouthed salamander (endangered), Spotted salamander, & the Western lesser siren. Maps to show where they've been seen can be viewed here.
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