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. We get a toad vs. traffic scenario and 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.
Although you can volunteer as much or as little as you like, patrol managers do expect commitment and enthusiasm. Toad patrolling is not a one-off event. Migration can run from as early as January to as late as April and will include going out in the evenings in wet conditions.
Here are some helpful links to get you started:
PLEASE NOTE: ***When you contact an existing toad patrol through the website, your email will go directly to the patrol. 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
- Take a look at these fantastic films from our Cufaude Lane toad patrol (filmed by Chris Packham) Hensting Lane toad patrol (filmed by volunteers) and Fennel Road toad patrol (filmed by Yaz Ellis from Screenology Film School)
- Froglife has made their Toad VR Experience downloadable for your phone! Check out the details here. Let us know what you think on our social media pages!
- Our Science & Research Manager has collated 30 years of toad patrol data. The data shows an increase in the number of patrols over time along with an increase in the number of toads helped. This data reflects volunteer effort, which shows the success of the Toads on Roads project at helping more toads over time. Take a look at the stats here.
- Toad fan Robert Cox has kindly sent in his poem ‘Ode to Toad’ which highlights the risks of common toads crossing roads in a very creative way! With the help of illustrator John Hallett, he has created a really lovely piece of work. Take a look below:
- A study by Froglife and partners from The University of Zurich, 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. 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 as well as practical conservation projects at important toad sites.
- 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.