Barbara Palmer, News Service (650) 724-6184; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Salamander tunnel opens beneath Junipero Serra Boulevard
Stanford University has installed a research tunnel under Junipero Serra Boulevard for the California tiger salamander. If effective, the tunnel will provide a safe route for some of the salamanders attempting to cross Junipero Serra Boulevard between the Stanford Foothills and Lake Lagunita during the migration season.
The tunnel was installed as part of the just-completed five-month-long Storm Drain Pipeline construction project. The 1,800-foot pipeline running along Junipero Serra Boulevard will carry water to Lake Lagunita and provide protection from flooding for campus residents during heavy rains like those that caused flooding in February 1998, said Andy Coe, director of community relations.
"The data collected from the operation of the tunnel will hopefully provide us with important information for future efforts to reduce road mortality for the salamander," said Alan Launer, campus biologist with the Stanford Center for Conservation Biology.
The tunnel is a result of the 1998 California Tiger Salamander Agreement for Stanford University, signed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, Santa Clara County and Stanford. The California tiger salamander is currently a candidate species under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Stanford will begin work immediately to fully restore the Foothills area disrupted by the construction of the storm drain. The public will be invited to participate in a special restoration workday, tentatively set for Oct. 20.