Toads on the Road
This is a bad year for toads – I have a gorgeous great big fat, warty toad living in the vicinity of my back door – luckily for him ( I suppose it could be a ‘her’ but all toads appear masculine somehow!) the nearest hazardous road is at least over half a mile away. Apparently up to 20 tons of toads are squashed under the wheels of cars every year. This figure would be even worse if it wasn’t for a team of dedicated volunteer toad patrollers operating across Britain. Already this Autumn I have found numerous squashed toads on the local lanes.
Check out Froglife http://www.froglife.org/tuppence/ A charity working to conserve reptiles and amphibians. Friday was the launch of Tuppence a Toad, a national campaign launched to raise money and awareness for Toads on Roadsproject. Throughout the year they will be organising events and fundraising activities, asking you to collect your 2ps and other small change, in order to buy much needed equipment such as torches and flourescent jackets for local Toad Watch groups. The charity is hoping to recruit more volunteers to assist with toad patrols, the work involves rescuing stranded toads and carrying them in buckets across roads at night to nearby breeding pond areas. Already this year some 65,000 toads have been taken to safety.
Toads, unlike frogs which can cross a road in a series of rapid hops, move at a more leisurely pace and tend to settle in the middle of roads, perhaps to enjoy the electric blanket effect of the tarmac on a warm night. The result can be disastrous. Things will get much worse when the breeding season gets underway, when toads will migrate from their winter habitat to the local ponds.
So spare a thought for the poor old toad this Autumn!