Monkton Wildlife Crossing
As humans use the Monkton-Vergennes Road to commute between work, home, and recreation, wildlife needing access between upland habitat and vital breeding wetlands also travel through this corridor. The rare blue-spotted salamander is among the large and diverse group of amphibians that inhabit the rich natural area surrounding this increasingly busy road. In 2005, the Monkton Wildlife Crossing Project began as concerned citizens realized that this population of amphibians was threatened by increasing traffic.Vermont's first amphibian crossing tunnels in Monkton have allowed thousands of salamanders and frogs to safely make their critical annual journey to and from their breeding pools.
Lewis Creek Association and the Town of Monkton are led a joint effort to build this much needed infrastructure. Ecologists, engineers, and the Monkton road foreman concluded that the only long-term solution to ensuring the sustainability of this extraordinary population of amphibians is to retro-fit the existing roadway with wildlife crossing tunnels. With support from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, this is the first wildlife related project in Northeastern United States to receive a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Federal High Administration. The project has received international attention for its innovative approach to reversing an ecological tragedy. News outlets from as far away as Sydney, Australia, were covering the story within hours of its announcement.
Status: The amphibian crossing construction is complete; final enhancements will be added in 2017.