Town of Marquette closes road every night to save migrating salamanders

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MARQUETTE, Mich. – A town on the Upper Peninsula closes part of a road to vehicle traffic every night to protect migrating salamanders.

The city of Marquette is closing a portion of Peter White Drive in Almost Isle Park from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily until April 15 or until the migration is complete, the city said. The closings began on Monday.

Road barricades will be placed and removed daily to prevent vehicle traffic in the migration area. Only foot traffic is permitted in the area.

“Protecting the migration of Blue-spotted Salamanders is vital, as they are indicator species that tell us about the health of our environment,” said Kathleen Henry, Special Projects Coordinator and Education Specialist for the Superior Watershed. Partnership. The mining journal in an email.

In 2018, Eli Bieri, a former student at Northern Michigan University, noticed vehicles killing hundreds of migrating salamanders, which moved from inside the park to their breeding ponds. Concerned about their mortality, Bieri helped get the city to close part of Peter White Drive during migration season.

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Henry said the city closed the road for the first time in 2020 and as a result had only three confirmed deaths that year.

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