Salamander Migration

why did the salamander cross the road?

to find love & make babies!

As the spring weather becomes warmer and rainier, salamanders (and other amphibians) are triggered to leave the safety of their forest homes, beneath fallen logs or leaf litter, to find love. Amphibians can only breed and lay eggs in bodies of water such as: wetlands, ponds, ditches, streams or lakes. 

If that source of water is on the other side of a road, love can be a deadly pursuit.  Every year hundreds upon hundreds of salamanders, frogs, newts and toads are killed on roads in their search for love and the survival of their species. 

when do they migrate?

Migration can start as early as late March and run until the end of April.  It all depends on the temperature, time of day and rain.  The "best" combination is around 8:00pm on a rainy night when the  temperature is 5°C or warmer.   

The week of April 17, 2023 looks like it might be a good week for the migration based on the forecast.

Photo Credit: Rhonda O'Grady

Spot a Salamander - Save A Salamander

The Arlington Forest Protection Society is sponsoring a citizen science project to help salamanders and other amphibians during their annual spring migration.   Big thank you to AFPS Member Amanda Suutari for bringing this project forward and for volunteering to coordinate.

For the first year of this project the primary goals are:

And we need your help.   If you have spotted salamanders or frog crossings in the past, or would like to get involved in scouting out potential locations we want to hear from you!

Future phases of the project will include creating road signs, raising awareness through workshops, and working with the municipality to temporarily close roads (if possible).

why save a salamander?

Salamanders like all amphibians are essential beings in our community and ecosystem.  They feed many other species, eat many undesirable insects, in and out of the water, such as mosquito and fly larva and, because they have moist permeable skin, they are indicators of environmental health. 

Plus they are super cute. 

A healthy amphibian population = A healthy environment 

Salamanders of nova scotia

Photo credit: Rhonda O'Grady

Yellow-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)


Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)


Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale)