Road closed for endangered salamanders

March 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM
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BURLINGTON, Ontario, March 13 (UPI) -- The Canadian community of Burlington, west of Toronto, has taken the unprecedented step of closing a road to protect an endangered type of salamander.

Through March 29, barriers to vehicles and pedestrians are blocking a road known to be crossed by endangered Jefferson salamanders, a blue-speckled brown and gray variety that only live in southern Ontario, the Toronto Star said.

Each spring, the amphibians cross the road to reach a marshy area to lay eggs, conservationist Lesley Matich told the newspaper.

"We do know that on one side is where they hibernate and then they definitely cross the road to breed," she said.

Because the area has had an unusually mild winter, the salamanders have begun their travels earlier than usual, she said.

She said there are an estimated 100 of the salamanders in the area who can live as long as 30 years.

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