Sussex wildlife campaign to stop loads of toads squashed in roads during mating season

Wildlife campaign to stop loads of toads squashed in roads during mating season

Wildlife campaign to stop loads of toads squashed in roads during mating season

First published in News by , Crime reporter

Wildlife groups have asked people to keep their eyes peeled for squashed toads as the annual race to find mating partners begins.

Amorous toads will travel up to 2km to reach a suitable pond and find a mate – but regularly get run over crossing roads in the process.

Now the Sussex Wildlife Trust and Sussex Amphibian and Reptile Group have asked people to report crossing points so they can put up signs and carry out toad patrols at the hot spots.

This will encourage drivers to slow down and save toads’ lives.

Jess Price, from the trust, said: “We need help and would love to hear from anyone who knows of a toad crossing point or sees one in the next few months.

“You’ll definitely know a crossing if you see one – the road is likely to be covered in dead toads that have been squashed.”

The call to keep an eye out for toads is part of an ambitious three- year project Miss Price added: “Common toads favour large deep ponds with areas of clear water such as farm ponds, reservoirs, fish ponds or village ponds.

“They also tend to return to their ancestral breeding ponds, travelling along the same routes every year. Unfortunately over the years, barriers and obstacles such as roads, housing estates and garden fences have been built across their path. Toads migrate at night and nothing will get in the way of their amorous intentions, even busy roads.

“Sadly this means that scores of toads are run over every year by cars whose drivers don’t see them until it’s too late.”

Migration can occur anytime between January and April, but toads most commonly emerge at dusk after a spell of damp, warmish weather.

There are currently around 660 registered toad crossings in the UK with 22 in Sussex, including Valley Road in Newhaven and Harland Farm in Uckfield.

Report a toad at sussexarg.org.uk/forms.html.

Comments (1)

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11:54pm Sat 1 Mar 14

Cogidubnus says...

As an unwitting toad landlord, (he lived in our main draimage outside our back door, and generally only appeared when we ran the washing machine which introduced soapsuds into his habitat), I just have to support this initiative. Twenty five or more years on, toads still occasionally appear in my garden...there is clearly some form of tribal memory.

I love frogs too...despite my pond being filled in over 20 years ago they too still appear every spring and my cats still bring them in (generally unharmed) through the catflap
As an unwitting toad landlord, (he lived in our main draimage outside our back door, and generally only appeared when we ran the washing machine which introduced soapsuds into his habitat), I just have to support this initiative. Twenty five or more years on, toads still occasionally appear in my garden...there is clearly some form of tribal memory. I love frogs too...despite my pond being filled in over 20 years ago they too still appear every spring and my cats still bring them in (generally unharmed) through the catflap Cogidubnus
  • Score: 1

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