A city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is closing a portion of a road every night in order to protect migrating salamanders.
The city of Marquette in the Western UP is closing a portion of Peter White Drive to vehicle every night between 8 pm and 8 am until the middle of April. The city began the practice on Monday (3/28).
Kathleen Henry is the special projects coordinator and education specialist for the Superior Watershed Partnership. She says there's an important reason for protecting the species.
“Protecting the blue-spotted salamanders’ migration is vital, as they are an indicator species, informing us about the health of our environment,” Henry said.
City Closes the Road Every Year at this Time
A Northern Michigan University student was instrumental in the city's decision to begin closing the road during this time of the year. It began doing so in 2020. As a student, Eli Bieri noticed that motor vehicles were killing hundreds of migrating salamanders traveling from the interior of Presque Isle Park to their breeding ponds.
Bieri urged the city to begin closing the road nightly during migration season.
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