What is up with Chileno Valley Road and the dead newts?

I noticed there are a whole lot of observations of California Newts and Rough Skinned Newts on the road of Chileno Valley, many are of dead ones, presumably ran over by a car. Is there a project ongoing there to save these newts from car traffic? It also seems like there is an unusually high amount of attention around that area as well.

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Do you mean those roadkill projects?
@merav is observing those and write quite a lot of journal posts, so you can check those.

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Lexington Reservoir looks like something else. How about these?



Popular newt crossing area between the forested hills that border the road and the reservoir.

It’s a natural choke-point for them, so their overland movement gets funneled through this area and over the road. Having grown up in that area I know people tend to drive fast on that road and very few people notice (or care) about small animals on the road.

And yes, there is an ongoing project to that’s specific to that newt crossing:

2022-2023 Chileno Valley Newt Brigade Winter

The purpose of this project is to document Pacific Newts crossing Chileno Valley Road near Laguna Lake in Marin County. This is the 4th year of data collection. The aim of this project is to collect data to identify short-term fixes while exploring longer-term solutions to ensure that the newts can cross the road safely.

Previous years here:


I can report seeing the same phenomenon for years on East Dunne Ave in Morgan Hill, at least in the interval when the reservoir was relatively full.

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I think of the amphibian undercrossings in Vermont, which as far as I know are at least partially successful, maybe something like that could work there as well.


It certainly could, but it’s a bit of a backroad and I really doubt funds are available for that sort of thing in the area. The should be, but I’d be surprised if they were.

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