Amphibian “Crossing Guards” needed

After the snowstorm last weekend, thoughts of spring might be far from peoples’ minds. However, warmer temperatures are predicted for the rest of the week into April which means that it’s time to start thinking about frogs, toads, and salamanders.




“Every spring, amphibians migrate from forests to wetlands, following a biological process that often returns them to the same vernal pools where they were born,” said Friends of the Mad River watershed engagement coordinator (Americorps) Onome Ofoman. “Their route often traverses roads, and they are hard to see by motorists on dark, wet nights during when they prefer to travel. This is where the community can come in -- as amphibian “crossing guards” helping amphibians to cross our roads safely.”

In preparation for this task, Onome invites people to join North Branch Nature Center scientists on Thursday, March 28, for an evening Zoom program on local amphibian ecology and the Amphibian Road Crossing community science project. Participants will also learn how to rescue thousands of amphibians from roadway fatalities and collect important migration data used by town planners and ecologists. Register at

“With the training under your belt, you can borrow a free kit with all the necessary supplies to serve as an amphibian crossing guard. Each Mad River Valley library has one kit containing Amphibian Crossing signs, neon vests, a plastic scooper, a flashlight, and a clipboard with data sheets. You can find crossing locations at,” she added.




Ira Shadis, executive director of Friends of the Mad River reminds us to “ensure our hands are free of soaps and lotions before beginning this activity as those could irritate our amphibian friends.”

Finally, join Friends of the Mad River for a community crossing night in early April. FMR staff will monitor the weather for 40-degree days and rainy nights and select a conducive night and location for the activity. Join their newsletter or follow them on social media @friendsofthemadriver to stay informed.

This series is made possible by Friends of the Mad River, MRV Libraries, and North Branch Nature Center. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.