Turn Around, Salamander!
This video shows a California tiger salamander finding its way to an underpass designed to help amphibians and reptiles cross the road safely, with the help of a "turn-around" that helps guide the salamander back in the right direction as it travels away from the underpass. The salamander was caught on wildlife cameras at various points between the turn-around and the underpass as part of a USGS study to understand how California tiger salamanders use turn-arounds and passage structures. The study was part of a larger project to develop science-based guidance for road agencies to help reptiles and amphibians cross roads safely.
The research was conducted in collaboration with Caltrans, the Western Transportation Institute, Herpetofauna Consultants International Ltd, Stanford University, the US Forest Service, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A resulting report, USGS Research to inform Best Management Practices for Reptile and Amphibian Road Crossings (PDF), is available.
A guidance document informed by the research (PDF) is available.
Permission granted to USGS for some imagery and video.