VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help save hundreds of toads and other amphibians from being killed as they make their perilous annual breeding migration in Edington.
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. Now toad patrols have been set up at some of the busiest crossing points, one of which is Edington.
The Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation – a sister organisation of Bristol Zoo – is calling on people to help them collect migrating toads and move them to safe breeding sites.
Jen Nightingale, the UK conservation manager for the foundation said, “Volunteers will be needed over the coming weeks as toads will start to migrate when the weather reaches over five degrees. As we’ve experienced quite a mild winter, 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 warm 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.”
Toads can often travel more than 1km during their migration back to their spawning ground. Rather than using rough hedgerow or grassy land, toads will often choose the easier bare ground to travel along, making roads the obvious easy travel route.
To find out more about volunteering for toad patrols, contact Bristol Zoo’s conservation office on 0117 974 7382 or email email@example.com.