On warm, wet nights from mid-March to mid-April frogs and salamanders move from their wintering sites on high ground to breeding sites in wetlands to mate and lay eggs. Their route to the nearest vernal pool sometimes takes them across a road.

Otter Creek Audubon and the Salisbury Conservation Commission will patrol an amphibian crossing site in Salisbury again this year. Across Vermont, groups of concerned individuals attempt to alter amphibians’ lethal odds by moving them off the road during nights of significant movement. At the most dangerous crossings amphibians may suffer 50 percent mortality, but the crossing we monitor has little traffic. This site retains not only large numbers of amphibians but also remarkable species diversity: four salamander and three frog species. If we happen to get a “Big Night”, we’ll move more than a thousand amphibians in a two-hour period. The site affords all who participate an opportunity to experience this remarkable natural phenomenon first hand.

You can witness and help perpetuate this migration if you sign up for the 2023 amphibian email alert. The 2023 window is Monday, March 17 to Sunday, April 9. You’ll receive a confirming email at about 6 pm. Movement starts around 8:15 pm and can run for several hours. Volunteers may arrive and leave when they wish and are responsible for their own safety and the safety of others in their group. We strongly encourage you and all others in your group to wear a mask to reduce the risk of COVID spread. Upon arrival, Jim Andrews and OCAS will provide species identification tips and a reminder of appropriate behavior. With your help we’ll record the numbers of each species we move for two hours.

Sign up at kinglet@together.net, even if you were on the list in a previous year!