Couple save salamanders from busy road

Feb. 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM

JACKSON, Miss., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A biologist couple in Mississippi said they and a group of volunteers are protecting local salamanders by helping them cross the road.

Tom Mann, a zoologist at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and his wife, Debora, a biology professor, said they and volunteers spring into action every time it rains during the late winter and early spring to help the salamanders cross a stretch of Natchez Trace Parkway near Jackson, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Manns said the salamanders are trying to get from their burrows to the seasonal ponds on the other side of the road, but the heavy traffic means many of the small reptiles wouldn't make it to the other side without help. They said they scoop the amphibians up on quart-size freezer containers and carry them to the ponds so they can carry on their mating ritual, which takes place only once a year.

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