A Big Night for Newts, and for a California Newt Brigade
California is experiencing one of its wettest winters in recent history following a series of atmospheric rivers that hit the state in rapid succession. The recent downpours and deluges wreaked havoc on many parts of Northern California.
But north of San Francisco, the town of Petaluma was spared the worst of the storms. There, the rain has been a boon for newts. The torrential downpours spurred thousands of California and rough-skinned newts to emerge from their burrows and set out in search of a lake, stream, pond or puddle to breed in. And for the first time in many years, the newts have a plethora of water bodies to choose from.
What the newts need now is a safe way to get to their rendezvous points. In many places, busy roads lie between newts and their breeding grounds. In Petaluma and other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, thousands of newts are killed by cars each year as they try to cross these roads. The carnage in Petaluma is so severe that a group of local residents has taken it upon themselves to stop it.
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