Toads on roads, and lots of them!

(C) Matt Wilson 2011

Tonight with an increase in temperature I suspected the mass toad migration not far from my village may have already begun. Arriving at a moorland lodge just before dusk, I found a recently killed toad dead on the road. Upon inspecting the edges of the lodge I found about a dozen male Common toads (Bufo bufo), that were awaiting the arrival of the larger females. As darkness approached I started to see Common toads all around the lodge, making their way to the water. Walking back to the main road I came across two local ‘Toads on roads’ volunteers Gordon and Margaret from Lumbetts village near Todmorden (W Yorkshire), who had two buckets filled with toads that had been found on the main road passing through the hillside. Searching around with our torches we found many more toads that needed to be removed from danger, and thankfully we only saw one toad that had been hit by a car. It was nice to meet people in my area who were dedicated to helping local amphibians, and with rain expected over the next few days, the toad migration will peak, but its great to know there will be people there to help them on their way to their ponds 🙂

Male Common toads (Bufo bufo) making their way to the breeding pond (C) Matt Wilson

Amplexus of Common toad (Bufo bufo) (C) Matt Wilson

Common toad (Bufo bufo) amplexus (C) Matt Wilson

One of two buckets of toads removed from the road by volunteers Gordon, Margaret and myself (C) Matt Wilson

And a single Common frog (Rana temporaria) found sat on a road (C) Matt Wilson

4 Comments on “Toads on roads, and lots of them!

  1. Hi Matt, You are certainly on the ball with this blog. A nice article and great pictures. When we met you last night, we had probably 30 or so toads in the buckets but when we had finished at nearly 10.00pm. our total was 105. Unfortunately we found 14 squashed which takes the shine off things somewhat. Not bad though for such a dry night. will keep in touch.


  2. Hi Gordon,
    Thanks for the nice comments, it was really good to meet you last night and well done for the amount of toads that you managed to move from the road. With some light rain today I’d imagine you will have a busy night tonight, i will try and get there myself tomorrow if possible.
    Speak soon,


  3. Hi Matt,
    Great photos and report of Gordon and Margaret’s work up at Lumbutts. I’ve been helping with some of Calderdale’s other Toad Crossings (my adopted spot is Hebden Hey, in Hebden Wood towards Hardcastle Crags), and have put up a brief update on the Calderdale Wildlife blog:
    Hope it’s ok, I’ve put up a link to this post!
    How did last night go at Lumbutts? Gordon I hope you weren’t too inundated up there. Good luck with more toad saving.


  4. Hi Matt, Christine,

    Have posted a reply on the Calderdale Wildlife Blog but it doesn’t seem to have appeared, must have pressed a wrong button, am new to all this technology so I am trying this site as well. We are still waiting for that night of ‘perfect conditions’ it hasn’t happened yet but having said that we have, since the 16 March, rescued 386 toads, our best night being the Wednesday when we had 117. Unfortunately we have still had 43 casualties (sounds better than dead) which somewhat takes the shine off things. We are hoping for a good night tonight, Friday, providing the temperature holds up but you never know.

    Keep up the good work everyone, only another 3/4 weeks to go.

    Gordon, Lumbutts.


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