Bristol Conservation & Science Foundation is calling on people to help collect migrating toads

PUBLISHED: 16:18 27 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:57 20 February 2013

Bristol Conservation & Science Foundation is calling on people to help collect migrating toads

Bristol Conservation & Science Foundation is calling on people to help collect migrating toads

Volunteers are being sought to help save hundreds of toads and other amphibians from being killed as they make their perilous annual breeding migration. <br/><br/>Some roads have been closed throught Bristol & Wiltshire to allow amphibians to cross safely.

Helps toads cross the roads


Volunteers are being sought to help save hundreds of toads and other amphibians from being killed as they make their perilous annual breeding migration.


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.


Some roads have been closed for the breeding season, allowing the animals to cross safely, but many roads still remain open and busy. Now toad patrols have been set up at some of the busiest crossing points - in Fishponds and Pill, Bristol; and Edington village, near Westbury in Wiltshire.


Bristol Zoos sister organisation, the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation (BCSF), is now calling on people to help them collect migrating toads and move them to safe breeding sites.


Jen Nightingale, the UK Conservation Manager 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. As weve experienced quite a mild winter, 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 warm 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, contact Bristol Zoos conservation office on 0117 974 7382 or email mrees@bristolzoo.org.uk.


Alternatively contact the Avon Reptile and Amphibian Group (ARAG ) which coordinates the toad patrols in Fishponds and Bath http://groups.arguk.org/arag or email A_R_A_G@yahoo.co.uk


To find details of other toad patrols in the south west, visit the Froglife website at www.froglife.org. Froglife is a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles -and saving the habitats they depend on.


Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.


For more information about Bristol Zoo Gardens visit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk or phone 0117 974 7300.


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