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Toads on the roads

Common toads Bufo bufo migrate every spring to their ancestral ponds for courtship and mating. These ponds are usually substantial waterbodies and are often used by many hundreds of toads (in some cases several thousand). Toads, like all amphibians, are in worldwide decline. However, in Britain the decline is being hastened by high road mortality. To get to their mating ponds, toads have to cross the roads. However, they don’t just cross the road but walk along it – it’s much easier to walk along a road than through a hedge bottom! Furthermore, males sit on the road looking for females to jump on! As such, a single vehicle can cause devastation. Toads particularly love nights when it’s raining and temperatures are above 9 degrees with little wind. On these nights, many toads will migrate at the same time meaning the roads get quite full and so careless drivers can decimate a population.
The campus has two places where toads routinely cross to breeding ponds. One is the bottom of Oakwood Drive ( and the other is the entry to Holywell Car Park ( Please drive carefully in these areas and look out for them on the road. From a car they’re easily mistaken for leaves and lumps of mud. If you see one on the road and it is safe to stop, please pick them up and move them to the pond side of the road. Toads are not dangerous in anyway – you are more hazardous to them!
Please be aware of them when driving along country lanes (particularly if you know there is a pond nearby). They migrate between mid-February and late April from dusk onwards. Thank you.

Posted by
Rich Fenn Griffin (extension 950575)
Posted on
Monday, 11 March 2024 at 16:29 GMT
Posted in

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