Migrating Salamanders Force Road Closure in One Michigan City
Here in the state of Michigan, we do all we can to protect the animals that live here. We have deer, bear, and elk crossing signs to warn drivers of areas where these animals may be crossing the road. Back in 2007, The Michigan Department of Transportation installed a $318,000 fence to keep migrating turtles from being killed while trying to cross US-31 in Muskegon.
Now one Michigan city is closing a road to all vehicle traffic in an effort to protect migrating blue spotted salamanders.
In Marquette, from 8 pm to 8 am daily, vehicles are prohibited from using part of Peter White Drive in Presque Isle Park. During these overnight hours, migrating blue salamanders could be crossing the road. The road will be closed daily until April 15 or the migration is finished.
Why did the Salamander Cross the Road?
The blue spotted salamanders are moving this time of year to reach their breeding ponds. Some of their travels take them over Peter White Drive. In 2018, Eli Bieri, a former Northern Michigan University student, took note of the fact that hundreds of the migrating salamanders where run over -- and killed -- during this time of year. He was instrumental in getting the city of Marquette to close part of Peter White Drive during the migration season. It took two years, but the city finally closed the road for the first time in 2020. That year only three blue spotted salamander deaths were confirmed.
Here is a story on the migration from ABC 10 UP...
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