Kate joins Toad Patrol

Kate Dziubinska, Ranger with the Central Downs Team, recently went on an evening toad patrol.

Here’s her account of the night in her own words…

As March eases us into warmer, damper nights, the annual toad migration begins. Unlike frogs, which will breed and law spawn in any old puddle, toads return to the same breeding ground each year to continue their life cycle. It is not uncommon to see males hitching a piggyback from females they’ve already clasped on to! Unfortunately, human development hasn’t much considered these ancient amphibian routes and nowadays their journeys are often criss-crossed with perilous challenges such as fences, high kerbs, fast roads and gutters.

Therefore local wildlife groups around the country have undertaken the task of helping toads along their journey, patrolling roads and giving them a lift across. At busy times this involves buckets full! Myself and fellow ranger Charles Winchester joined a local volunteer near Bury last Friday evening, where we aided 50 plus toads across the road.

As there were only three of us covering a 1km stretch there were sadly some casualties, but that only spurred us on to stay longer. To think it only took a couple of hours out of the evening, seeing those little toads safely crawl off to ‘hoppier’ times ahead made it a very heart-warming experience.

So as you’re driving out and about in these warmer, damper evenings, please keep an eye out for crossing toads and do your best to slow down and be vigilant around wetter areas.

If you’d like to find out more about toad patrols or want to get involved, visit the Froglife website and go to their ‘Toads on Roads’ page https://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/toads-on-roads/