Toads on Roads
Common Toads are very particular about where they breed and often migrate back to their ancestral breeding ponds each year. They follow the same route, regardless of what gets in their way, which sometimes leads to them crossing roads. Where we get this toad vs. traffic scenario, the toads inevitably come off worse.
The Toads on Roads project registers these sites as ‘migratory crossings’ and helps coordinate local Toad Patrols. Patrols can apply to their local council for road warning signs to be installed and actively help the toads across the road. The Toads on Roads project has been running for over twenty years and we know of numerous crossings nationwide.
You can help toads and other amphibians migrate by forming a Toad Patrol for a site near you or by joining an existing Patrol.
PLEASE NOTE: That when you contact an existing toad patrol through the website your email will go directly to the patrol and Froglife has no knowledge of this contact. It may be that sometimes patrollers are unable to respond to emails and Froglife has no control over this.
Latest News from Toads on Roads
A recent study by Froglife and partners from The University of Zurich and using data collected by Toads on Roads volunteer patrollers has shown that on average common toads have declined by 68% over the last 30 years in the UK. In some areas, such as the south east of England, declines have been even more pronounced. And these declines have been mirrored in Switzerland. The full paper was published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE (http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161943). In response to these findings we have launched a Year of the Toad campaign to help raise awareness of the issue and funds to carry out further research into the cause of the declines and practical conservation projects at important toad sites.
We are working with IT specialists to make it as easy as possible for people to register with a toad patrol and to assist Toad Patrol Coordinators with the day-to-day administration of a toad patrol. We are in the process of developing an online database that will streamline many of the activities such as organising a rota for patrollers right through to submitting data at the end of the season. Keep an eye on our website for regular updates.
Through Froglife’s work as part of the European Network for the Protection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Transport Systems (ENPARTS), we have been discussing and collaborating with a number of partners working on Toads on Roads. At the inaugural meeting, representatives from 12 countries shared their experiences of different ways of protecting migrating amphibians. You can find out more about ENPARTS here.