Migrating amphibians contend with fewer cars

A migrating wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) stops on the center line of a road in Keene, New Hampshire. Credit: AVEO: Citizen Science with the Harris Center

If anyone is appreciating the lack of activity associated with the pandemic lockdowns, it may be amphibians. Traffic can be deadly for amphibians migrating each spring in the northeastern United States, but with fewer vehicles on the road this spring, conservationists are hoping frogs and salamanders on the move will benefit.

“It’s really exciting to see what might come of this year,” Greg LeClair, a graduate herpetology student at the University of Maine, told the New York Times. “It’s not too often that we get this opportunity to explore the true impacts that human activity can have on road-crossing amphibians.”

Metrics are tricky, but LeClair says one out of four amphibians his team of citizens scientists encountered this year had been run over, down from one in two last year.

Read more in the New York Times.