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Wildlife Committee Update

Tanya Bourgoin

March 2024

Amphibian Big Night  

Each spring as our native plants and wildflowers begin to peek up through the dirt, there are many other creatures stirring deep below the surface of  the soil. All over New England, salamanders and frogs are waking up from their winter slumber and getting ready to emerge from their subterranean  burrows. Once temperatures have climbed above 45 degrees, these soft  bodied animals will wait for a rainy night to emerge en masse and travel back to the vernal pools where they were born. There they spend days or weeks engaged in mass courtship and mating rituals before returning to the forest. This emergence and migration is known as “Big Night”, although it can also happen over multiple “small” and “medium” nights. 


People across the Northeast can not only witness this amazing natural phenomenon, but they can help by monitoring and controlling motor vehicle traffic to allow our tiny friends safe passage. Only the animals themselves know exactly when they will embark on this amazing  journey so please be alert and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Roads with surrounding forests and small wetlands (small  ponds, vernal pools, marshes, etc) are the most commonly used as crossing areas and are the most critical areas for human-assisted safe passage. So get your rain gear ready, and when you hear that iconic sound of spring peepers, you’ll know it’s time. 

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Image: Frog crossing sign by Judy Gallagher on Flickr CC BY 2.0 DEED

Legislation That Impacts Wildlife  

This year is a “short session” in our state legislature, which means that  there is not a lot of time for our elected officials to hear bills and proposals  and act on them. That doesn’t mean that we’ve taken a pause from  advocating on behalf of our wild friends, however. We are currently  following several bills that will directly impact wildlife in Connecticut and  beyond. We are also proposing, promoting, and supporting policy changes  at the state and local level statewide. Learn how you can help by visiting  our Wildlife Committee Page or contact Tanya.


Tanya Bourgoin is our Wildlife Committee Chair.

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