spotted salamander crossing photo: Katie BarnesAs the earth thaws and spring rains drench New Hampshire, thousands of salamanders, frogs, and toads make their way to vernal pools to breed.  Many are killed when their journeys take them across busy roads.  Each spring, we train volunteers to serve on Salamander Crossing Brigades at amphibian road crossings throughout the Monadnock Region.  These heroic volunteers count migrating amphibians and safely usher the animals across roads during one or more “Big Nights” in late March and April.

This year, we have received a Network Innovation Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation for a new conservation research initiative focused on our Salamander Brigades!  As part of this project and in partnership with a postdoctoral research ecologist from UMASS-Amherst, we will be installing and monitoring a pitfall array at an amphibian road crossing in Keene this spring.  Data from this pilot study will help us begin to figure out how many wood frogs and spotted salamanders actually cross the road at this site each spring, and what percentage of them are helped along by our volunteers.

For more information, please join us for a Salamander Crossing Brigade training on either March 13 or 29 (more details on our online calendar), or contact Brett Amy Thelen at or (603) 358-2065.