Cornell Team Looks at Automotive Dangers Faced by Local Amphibians

On the night of the first warm spring rain, local salamanders emerge from the thawed forest ground to migrate. Because of passing cars, however, many of them are killed before reaching their destination. Cornell students Catherine Li ’18, Caroline Wollman ’18 and Abigail Shilvock ’17 are working with Todd Bittner, director of natural areas for Cornell Plantations, to protect salamanders and other amphibians from human intrusions in the Plantations and its related reserves. The three students are members of Biology Service Leaders, a group on campus that organizes teams of students that want to relate their science education with giving back to their community, according to Li. “We were looking for a way to transform our education into service — Biology Service Leaders adds something more to that, because you have to develop your own project,” Li said.