The annual closure of King Road starts Monday - March 12th to give the Jefferson Salamander some time to breed..

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 9th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The annual closure of King Road to allow for the safe passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration will begin on Monday, March 12 for three weeks.

King Road will be closed from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road.

The City of Burlington has closed the same section of road since 2012, for an approximate three-week period, to allow for the safe passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration.

The Jefferson slamander, native to the northern part of the city appears to have become a mascot for the Region.

The Jefferson salamander, native to the northern part of the city appears to have become a mascot for the Region.

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

These salamanders spend the majority 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 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 requiring them to cross busy roads.

Since the first full road closure in 2012, there has been no road mortality of Jefferson salamanders observed by Conservation Halton staff during the road closure.

Jefferson salamanders have a grey or brown-coloured back, with lighter under-parts. Blue flecks may be present on the sides and limbs. These 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.

While the city accommodates the Conservation Authority to close the road for a three week period – the Jefferson salamander has been very good for the people who opposed to expansion of the Nelson Quarry on Collings Road.

It took $2 million out of the legal department's budget to pay for the tear long tribunal that decided the Jefferson Salamander was important and that an expansion of the existing quarry should not be poermitted. It was rural Burlington residents who were the force behind that battle - they were not to be trifled with.

It took $2 million out of the legal department’s budget to pay for the year long tribunal that decided the Jefferson Salamander was important and that an expansion of the existing quarry should not be permitted. The expansion was to be in the smaller outlined area. The larger area is the quarry that is reaching the end of its productive days.

City crest - old hand drawnThe existence of the salamander and its possible extinction was a large part of the argument for not allowing the application for an expansion.

Much of North America has a groundhog day – Burlington owes the Jefferson Salamander some significant recognition – a future Mayor could declare a Salamander day and perhaps revise the city crest to include the critter.

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2 comments to The annual closure of King Road starts Monday – March 12th to give the Jefferson Salamander some time to breed..

  • EnviroNUT

    Now if we could just get rid of ADJACENT Meridian BRICK QUARRY (and FREE the endangered species therein to join their relatives) then the Mayor and City Council would have REAL credibility, show character and integrity.

    But to go beyond the road closure and standup to the aggregates takes ‘balls’ which is sadly lacking in the Mayor and Council so they take the tiny steps that are good for their image and vote-grabbing BUT do absolutely NOTHING to solve the longer term real issues, namely the gradual erosion of the Burlington green space and the eventual demise of all its inhabitants!

  • James Smith

    Love it!

    Burlie’s Motto, while often a source of mirth mockery is oddly appropriate here. Now if Burlie could only gets a REAL Coat Of Arms….

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