Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Characterizing movement patterns and spatio-temporal use of under-road tunnels by long-toed salamanders in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

Published source details

Pagnucco K.S., Paszkowski C.A. & Scrimgeour G.J. (2012) Characterizing movement patterns and spatio-temporal use of under-road tunnels by long-toed salamanders in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada. Copeia, 2012, 331-340


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Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2008–2009 of four amphibian tunnels under a road parallel to a lake in Alberta, Canada (Pagnucco, Paszkowski & Scrimgeour 2012) found that tunnels were effective at reducing road mortality of long-toed salamanders Ambystoma macrodactylum. Road mortality decreased from 10% of the population in 1994 to 2% following installation. In 2009, 104 salamanders were recorded using tunnels, 74% were migrating to the lake. Four gray tiger salamanders Ambystoma mavortium and seven western toads Anaxyrus boreas were also captured in exit traps. Individual tunnel use differed (7–49%). In May 2008, four concrete box culverts (0.6 x 0.5 m) were installed for amphibians 80–110 m apart. They had slots to allow air, moisture and light in. Drift-fences 500 m long were installed either side of the road with pitfall traps checked daily in April–October 2008. In 2009, additional fences (133–274 m) were installed to direct salamanders to tunnels and pitfalls were installed at exits. Road mortality surveys (similar to 1994) and fence surveys were undertaken daily in 2008 and May–June 2009.