Help a toad to cross the road
Volunteers are being encouraged to hop to it to save hundreds of toads, frogs and newts from being killed as they make their perilous annual breeding migration.
Every year toads, frogs and newts migrate from their winter resting sites to ponds and streams to breed. Toads in particular are very fussy about where they breed and like to return to their ancestral ponds – this often means crossing busy roads.
Some roads have been closed for the breeding season, allowing the animals to cross safely, but many roads still remain open and busy.
Avon Reptile and Amphibian Group (ARAG) organise toad patrols in Fishponds, Bath and the Chew Valley. Patrols also take place in Pill and Abbots Leigh.
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ARAG, who have joined forces with Bristol Zoo’s sister organisation, the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation (BCSF), are now calling on people to help collect migrating toads and move them to safe breeding sites.
Maddy Ivey, the UK conservation and communication officer for the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, said: “Volunteers will be needed over the coming weeks as toads will start to migrate when the weather reaches over five degrees. Which means, according to the forecast, the toads might start moving very soon and the migration period can last up to four weeks.”
She added: “Toads and other amphibians set out on their journeys after dusk, preferring dark, wet and mild conditions, so we need volunteers between 6pm-10pm to help collect up hundreds of toads, frogs and newts and save them from being run over.
“Even if you can only spare one evening, it will help save amphibian lives. All you need is a bucket, a torch and a high visibility jacket.”
To find out more about volunteering for toad patrols in Fishponds, Chew Valley or Bath please contact Andy Ryder from Avon Reptile and Amphibian Group (ARAG) by email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the patrol in Pill please contact email@example.com and for Abbots Leigh please email firstname.lastname@example.org