Friday, February 28, 2014

Volunteers needed to prevent toad 'carnage'

Volunteers are being asked to help save amorous toads from being "splattered" on a road in Lincolnshire as they head for their breeding grounds.

The toads cross at a site in White Cross Lane, Sleaford, after coming out of hibernation, from early March until the end of April. Toad crossing co-ordinator Fiona Cousland said: "Last year the carnage was horrendous." Volunteers put the frogs in a bucket of water and carry them across the road.

Common toads are believed to be declining across the UK because of habitat loss, according to amphibian and reptile conservation group Froglife. The charity said research showed the chances of a toad being killed while crossing a road were as high as 67%. Mrs Cousland, who is a volunteer for the charity's Toads on Roads project, said: "The toads are driven by their hormones.

"When they come out of hibernation the males seek out the females and hop on their backs - the female then has to carry the male across the road, so it's pretty hard work for her. They love the wet and damp conditions and it's very hard for drivers to see them, so they get splattered. One morning last year, there were about 40 pairs dead in the road." Volunteers are needed to patrol the area and help toads cross the road.

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