Jefferson Salamanders gets King Road closed so they can make babies on the other side of the road.

By Staff

March 13th, 2023




He is coming back

A sure sign of spring: King Road closed for annual migration of the Jefferson salamander

In its media release the city advised that “we are closer to the arrival of spring, which means a section of King Road will be closed to allow for the annual passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration.”

Starting on Thursday, March 16, King Road, from North Service Road to Mountain Brow Road, will be closed so the salamanders can cross the road safely.

This creature should be the Official Mascot of the city. He does get a road closed in the Spring so that he can cross to the other is during mating season.

You do know why he is crossing the road don’t you?

Local traffic for all properties between North Service Road and the escarpment will be maintained. King Road will reopen for through traffic on Wednesday, April 12, once the salamanders are expected to finish their annual crossing.

Since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for the salamanders to cross. They are a nationally and provincially protected endangered species.

Sarah Harmer

In Burlington the salamander has shown considerable political clout.  It was the argument that the Jefferson Salamander was a protected species that prevented the Nelson Quarry from getting a permit to expand the quarry on # 2 Road.  Burlington’s own Sarah Harmer made the case very convincingly at the time.

If you are really into this slimy little creature click HERE

About the Jefferson salamander

This little creature was the reason Nelson Quarry didn’t get their permit to expand approved.

In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along the Niagara Escarpment.

Jefferson salamanders spend most of their lives underground. As the weather warms up and the spring rains begin, the salamanders emerge and migrate to breed in temporary ponds formed by run-off, laying their eggs in clumps attached to underwater vegetation. Adults leave the ponds after breeding. By late summer, the larvae lose their gills, become air-breathing juveniles and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.

Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds during wet rainy nights. They show a strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes causing them to cross busy roads.

  • The Jefferson salamander is protected at both the provincial and national levels. It was added to Ontario’s endangered species list in 2011.
  • Jefferson salamanders have a grey or brown-coloured back, with lighter under-parts. Blue flecks may be present on the sides and limbs.
  • Adult Jefferson salamanders are 12 to 20 cm long. The long tail makes up half this length.
  • Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time; up to 30 years of age.



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