Originally published in Compass, April 10, 2014
“Big Night” coming soon to Blue Hill Peninsula
Frogs and salamanders will soon be on the move! The first warm, rainy evening of spring is known as “Big Night,” a dramatic natural event when amphibians come out of hibernation and head to their breeding pools. Inevitably some will attempt dangerous road crossings as they hop and crawl to their spring headquarters, and that’s where you can help. A group of volunteers from Downeast Audubon has been going out on Big Night for the past several years to assist the amphibians in getting across the road before getting squished by cars, according to a news release from Downeast Audubon.
The group has been concentrating on known crossings along Pleasant Street in Blue Hill, but they are interested in learning about new locations around Hancock County. Downeast Audubon president Leslie Clapp says that it would be best to avoid driving from 8 to 10 p.m. during Big Night, but she hopes that if people are out, they will use caution and keep their eyes peeled for amphibian crossings (usually near wetlands) and try not to run over the animals. If you decide to help by carrying them across the road in the direction they are heading, think safety first! It can be especially dangerous on roads during rainy nights. Make sure to wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight and use car flashers if necessary.
Anyone who has information about amphibian crossings can contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org or 666-4400. They are also interested in collecting the numbers of different species of amphibians that are helped across roads.