Slippery When Wet: Ontario Town Yields Road to Salamanders

For three weeks in March, Jefferson salamanders have the right of way on a busy stretch of road in Burlington, Ontario. Only about 100 of the threatened amphibians (known locally as “Jeffies”) exist in the area, within a forested stretch along the Niagara Escarpment. Unfortunately, the night-traveling salamanders hibernate on one side of the road but breed and lay eggs in a pond on the other side. In recognition of the important niche the salamanders fill, Burlington's city council agreed (without objection, according to the mayor) to close the road for a spell to give the Jeffies a chance to make it to the other side.