Toad Detour

Our last post was about Greek frogs on the move, but close to home, American toads are also on the move and are being helped by an organization called Toad Detour, as reported on Philly.com.

American Toadlet, photo copyright © Marcia Maslonek

In early March, volunteers with Toad Detour helped adult toads cross a road in Upper Roxborough, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, to get to their breeding ponds. Now the Toad Detour volunteers are helping tiny toadlets make their way back across the road to reach their home in nearby woods. From May 23 to June 30, the Streets Department has provided a permit for the group to detour cars when the toads are crossing.

The toadlets have been traveling by the thousands, especially on damp and rainy nights, and will continue to do so for the next several weeks, according to Lisa Levinson, coordinator of Toad Detour. The toads temporarily halt their migration during dry weather. But nothing else will stop them. A 15-foot rock wall stands in their path, but they hop up and over it.

“One car will kill a thousand of them,” Levinson said. “It’s hard to see them. They look like insects, spiders, or more like flies.”

Volunteers are badly needed to protect the toadlets, set up road barricades, and distribute brochures about the migration, Levinson said. If you live in the Philly area and would like to become a Toad Patroller, visit the Toad Detour website.