Michigan City closes road every night to save salamanders

A town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula closes a stretch of road every night to protect migrating salamanders.

The town of Marquette in western UP closes part of Peter White Drive to vehicles every night between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. until mid-April. The city started practice Monday (3/28).

Kathleen Henry is Special Projects Coordinator and Education Specialist for the Superior Watershed Partnership. She says there’s an important reason for the protection of the species.

“Protecting the migration of blue-spotted salamanders is vital, as they are an indicator species that tell us about the health of our environment,” Henry said.

The city closes the road every year at this time

A student from Northern Michigan University was instrumental in the city’s decision to begin closing the road at this time of year. He started doing this in 2020. As a college student, Eli Bieri noticed motor vehicles killing hundreds of migrating salamanders traveling from inside Près Isle Park to their breeding ponds.

Bieri urged the city to start closing the road at night during the migration season.

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