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Are spotted salamanders crossing busy roads in the Finger Lakes?

The rumors are true- spotted salamanders can be seen crossing roads in the Finger Lakes region.

A local expert said such sightings are actually quite common. Spotted salamanders, also called Ambystoma maculatum, have black or dark gray bodies and distinct rows of yellow spots on their backs. Once temperatures reach the 40s in early spring, these creatures begin migrating to woodland pools to lay their their eggs.

“There could be thousands of them crossing over about a three-quarter-mile stretch of road down at our (Muller) Field Station,” said Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) environmental conservation professor John Bateman, according to News10 NBC.

Each year, Bateman and his students try to help these little salamanders cross the busy County Road 36. The professor hopes to get back out in the field to help protect these amphibians in the coming weeks.

If you’re interested in joining the ranks of these salamander guardians, email Bateman at [email protected] for special instructions.

Additionally, Bateman will host a talk on salamander migration at the Muller Field Station on Wednesday, March 30 at 6 p.m. You can sign up to watch a live online stream of the talk here.