Massachusetts Drivers, Watch Out for Amphibians on the Roads

With the warmer and wetter weather now upon us here on the SouthCoast, signs of spring are popping up all around us. Some of them are easy to see, like the leaves returning to the trees and the flowers beginning to bloom. Others may be smaller and harder to see, but they’re still there – and MassWildlife wants to make sure you’re aware.

The organization recently put out information regarding amphibians and other small creatures emerging from their winter hideaways in time for their mating season, in order to warn Massachusetts residents about the possibility of this little critters crossing roads.

“Spotted salamanders, wood frogs, blue-spotted salamanders, Jefferson salamanders, American toads, spring peepers, four-toed salamanders, northern leopard frogs, and eastern red-backed salamanders are frequently encountered on roads during early spring rains,” MassWildlife wrote.

Not only are they small in size, but they are often nocturnal, moving about in the dark and making it even harder to see them crossing the road.

MassWildlife issued some tips as to how you can help the amphibian population in the next few months. Some of them seem easy to do, like driving cautiously and carefully, while others might be a big ask for many people.

“Whenever possible over the next two months, please consider not driving on rainy nights when air temperatures are 40°F or higher,” MassWildlife wrote. “If you must travel during such conditions, delaying beyond the first two hours after sunset is recommended.”

While that may be helpful, I’m not sure most people would be willing to rearrange their schedule based on when amphibians might be trying to cross the road.

Other suggestions make more sense, such as being sure your hands are free of any chemicals if you’re going to physically handle any amphibian. There are also some good tips on what to do if you see some of the rare amphibian species out in the wild, and how you can help MassWildlife catalog them.

Massachusetts Wildlife You Can Legally Take Home as Pets

Massachusetts has such diverse wildlife, but also strict limitations on what you can bring home and cuddle. In fact, there are only certain reptiles and amphibians you can keep as pets (so no raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, etc.) and you are only allowed two of each. The state also says “you cannot sell, barter, or exchange them.” Also, keep in mind, these are wildlife, so it’s probably best to just leave them be and maybe visit a reptile shop instead to get your next pet.

Here’s a List of All the Snakes Native to Massachusetts (Two Can Kill You)

Did you know that there’s a species of rattlesnakes found in the Bay State? Or that two of our local venomous serpents can be deadly to humans — but despite what your parents told you, the water moccasin isn’t one of them? (They don’t even live in Massachusetts.) Love them or hate them, these slithery little suckers are everywhere. Here’s what snakes you’re most likely to find in your backyard.

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