Turn Around, Salamander!

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Detailed Description

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.

Learn more about USGS reptile and amphibian road ecology research.

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.
 

Details

Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:43

Location Taken: CA, US

Video Credits

Video by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center.

Research in collaboration with our partners at Caltrans, the Western Transportation Institute, Herpetofauna Consultants International, Ltd., Stanford University, the US Forest Service, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Logos used with permission.

Still images captured by HALT Active Trigger Camera System,Michael Hobbs, Hobbs Ecology (hobbsecology.com)

Music: Amazing Plan by Kevin MacLeod (License).

Any use of trade, firm, logos, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
 

Transcript

Passage structures can help amphibians and reptiles pass underneath roads without harm
Barrier fencing and turn-arounds can help guide amphibians and reptiles to the passages
Wildlife cameras help scientists study how animals use passages and turn-arounds
This California tiger salamander is 25 m from an underpass . . . walking in the wrong direction
this number shows how far away the underpass is from the camera
50 meters away now ...
75 meters away now...
100 meters away now...
125 meters away now...
After passing the 125 meter camera, the salamander hit a turn-around and turned around!
100 meters away now!
75 meters away now!
50 meters away now!
25 meters away now!
Made it back to the passage!
Way to go, California tiger salamander!
This CA tiger salamander moved unusually far -- on average, they moved only 40 m along barrier fencing before finding a passage or "giving up"
But this salamander isn’t the only turn-around success story
Multiple studies by USGS show that turn-arounds are effective in changing the trajectory of many reptiles and amphibians
Like this Western toad, crawling out of a turn-around!
USGS road ecology research has helped Caltrans develop best-practices guidance for planning passage structures
With our partners at Caltrans and the Western Transportation Institute, USGS is helping reptiles and amphibians safely cross the road
Learn more at: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/science/reptile-and-amphibian-road-eco...
Video by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. Research in collaboration with our partners at Caltrans, the Western Transportation Institute, Herpetofauna Consultants International, Ltd., Stanford University, the US Forest Service, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Still images captured by HALT Active Trigger Camera System,Michael Hobbs, Hobbs Ecology (hobbsecology.com)
Music: Amazing Plan by Kevin MacLeod. 
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3358-amazing-plan 
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Any use of trade, firm, logos, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.