We are spectators to the greatest species extinction crisis since the dinosaurs: amphibians. Salamanders are critical keystone organism particularly in the verdant context Northeastern USA, and yet we continue to cut off their migration corridors, desiccate the vernal ponds where they breed or stock them with fish, smear them like cream cheese across our highways. There is an urgent need to rethink our urban infrastructure to support these creatures, upon whom all sorts of critical systems depend.
The Salamander Superhighway makes Socrates Sculpture Park more salamander-attractive by providing an an underpass that helps them on their voyages, enables us to monitor them more effectively, and, by creating a micro-speedbump, provides the gentle reminder to people in vehicles above that we are not alone.
Just like us humans, salamanders avoid dark tunnels so this micro-infrastructure for non-humans (which could be extended throughout Long Island City) is patterned with holes to provide dappled daylight similar to the on forest floors, for celestial navigation, projections of the night sky above.
Keep your fingers on the ecological pulse by following the salamanders on Twitter: anything that passes through the tunnel will tweet at @SlmndrSuperhigh.
‘Hi Honey I’m heading home’
‘Why would the salamander cross the road…’
‘Mmmm… nice and moist, lit just like a forest on my migration routes of yore’