Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of road tunnels for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander

Published source details

Allaback M.L. & Laabs D.M. (2002) Effectiveness of road tunnels for the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, 38/39, 5-8

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Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings Amphibian Conservation

A small, replicated study in 2000–2001 of two amphibian tunnels constructed under a road in a residential development in Santa Cruz County, California, USA (Allaback & Laabs 2002-2003) found that a small proportion of migrating Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum used tunnels. A total of 23 adult salamanders passed through the tunnels. Of the 44 adults marked along the drift-fence, only four (9%) were captured on the opposite side of one tunnel and none for the other. The two cement polymer amphibian tunnels were installed in 1999. They were 0.3 x 0.5 m or 0.2 x 0.2 m and 11–12 m long. Entrances were screened with mesh to reduce predator access. Drift-fences (0.4–0.8 m high) were permanently installed at tunnel entrances and along the road to connect tunnels (300 m). Salamanders were monitored by visual survey along the drift-fence on five rainy nights in December–January. Each animal was marked. Pitfall traps captured individuals passing through tunnels.