VIDEO: York region closes road nightly to allow endangered salamanders to cross safely

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It’s late, rainy, the stretch of road is empty. That’s when these tiny critters slither out from under the forest floor and get ready for a...busy night.

It’s mating season for the Jefferson Salamander, an endangered species in Ontario.

York region is warning drivers about intermittent nightly closures of portions of Stouffville Road in Richmond Hill to allow the salamanders to cross safely. This is the yearly migration of the Jefferson Salamander to their breeding ponds.

The region reports that the road closures have allowed over 150 salamanders to cross safely and get on with their business of breeding.

In 2011, the amphibians went from threatened status to endangered and are protected by law under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

Stephen Van Drunen, a master of science graduate from University of Guelph, has studied Jefferson Salamanders and co-authored a 2020 study on their habitat use and movements in Hamilton.