Conservation Commission Amphibian Crossing Program
Every spring, salamanders, frogs, and toads migrate to vernal breeding pools on “Big Nights” — evenings when temperatures are around 40 degrees or higher and it’s raining. This usually happens on a few nights between mid-March and early May in our region.
Big Night volunteers* can help these creatures cross safely and/or help the Lebanon Conservation Commission gather information about amphibian migration “hot spots" in town. Check out the City’s Amphibian Crossing hotspot map and choose the site closest to you to reduce driving, and be ready to get out to help, or just observe and document the migration.
The Harris Center for Conservation Education usually conducts free Salamander Crossing Volunteer Trainings in Hancock, NH every spring. This year (2021) the training moved to Zoom because of COVID-19. You can view a recording online. We encourage anyone who would like to help amphibians on Big Nights to watch this training.
Visit the Harris Center's Salamander Crossing Brigades page for more information on spring amphibian migrations, including their salamander forecast: while we are a bit further north, we can still use it as a guide as to when Big Nights might happen here in Lebanon NH.
There will likely be several migrations throughout the spring on rainy nights. Please try to avoid driving on these Big Nights. If you have to drive during these times, try to avoid amphibian crossing hot spots, drive slowly, and be on the lookout for Big Night volunteers and amphibians, particularly near wetlands. Not sure if you are near one? Open your window, turn off your radio, and perhaps you will hear the frog calls.
These types of hotspot mapping efforts help boost local awareness of these incredible spring migrations and aid in planning future volunteer efforts to help amphibians cross our roads safely.
*Remember, if you do get out to help or observe on a Big Night, practice COVID-safety and pedestrian safety: practice physical distancing, wear reflective clothing, and carry flashlights or headlamps.
The following resources are useful for participating in Big Night events.