Bristol Zoo appeals for volunteers to help save hundreds of toads and other amphibians
By matt_2009 | Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 10:18
Volunteers are being sought to help save hundreds of toads and other amphibians from being killed as they make their perilous annual breeding migration.
Bristol Zoo appeals for volunteers to help save hundreds of toads and other amphibians.
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.
Avon Reptile & Amphibian Group (ARAG) organise toad patrols in Fishponds, Bath and in Chew Valley. Patrols also take place in Pill and in Abbots Leigh. They 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."
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 in Fishponds, Chew Valley or Bath please contact Andy Ryder from Avon Reptile and Amphibian Group (ARAG) by email email@example.com