A barrier has been developed and put in place on Noordhoek Main Road to prevent migrating leopard  toads from being killed as they cross the road while trying to access their traditional breeding grounds at Lake Michelle where they congregate from July – September to breed.

 

The barrier is patrolled several times every evening and once again in the morning. This means that migrating toads are not kept too long ‘waiting’ before they can get to the ponds. Patrollers find the toads and carry them over the roads to the ponds. When the breeding season ends and the toads start to reverse their migration, the patrollers will do it all again – the other way around.

Barrier erected to protectWestern leopard Toads in Noordhoek

Barrier erected to protectWestern leopard Toads in Noordhoek

 

The recent incident on Main Rd in which a team of patrollers was rear-ended by the young driver, serves to highlight the dangers of patrolling Main Rd in order to save toads. Motorists, please be aware of the possible presence of patrollers on the Noordhoek Main Road when it is wet and rainy.

 

Alison Faraday of Noordhoek Unpaid Toad Savers (ToadNUTS) writes:

 

ToadNUT volunteers help Western Leopard toads reach thier breeding grounds in Noordhoek: Photo: Alison Faraday

ToadNUT volunteers help Western Leopard toads reach thier breeding grounds in Noordhoek: Photo: Alison Faraday

“Since our initial excitement of installing the barrier on Monday and Tuesday last week and having significant toad numbers behind the barrier or in buckets, we have had very little toad movement since – as you can see from the table below. On Thursday with Wally’s team, together with 4 gardeners from the Lake Michelle development, we were able to fully install the western barrier along the cycle track and around the pond at the new entrance.

 

This means that our toads are protected on their journey to and from the ponds.

 

These are our summarised stats since the 5th August for the barrier. You will notice that 3 toads have been killed just to the south of the barrier. This is because we have large feeder roads into Main Rd. The toads walk down these feeder roads and may not be seen by patrollers before they arrive on Main Rd.

Also – the barrier was 75% completed on Monday 5th August on the eastern side – this is why 13 toads were saved outside of the barrier on that night. The barrier was completed on Tuesday on the eastern side.

 

Barrier Stats in 2013

Mon 5th Aug

Tues 6th Aug

Wed 7 Aug

Thurs 8th Aug

Fri 9th Aug

Sat 10th Aug

Sun 11 Aug

TOTAL

Toads found blocked by barrier

7

11

1

0

0

0

0

18

Toads found in the buckets

2

7

0

0

0

0

0

9

TOTAL TOADS PREVENTED FROM CROSSING ROAD

9

18

1

0

0

0

0

28

Toads finding way through the barrier and on road

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Toads crossing slightly to south of barrier – alive

13

0

0

0

0

0

0

13

Toads crossing slightly to south of barrier – dead

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

3

 

A Western Leopard toad awaiting collection at Noordhoek Main Road toad barrier. Photo: Alison Faraday

A Western Leopard toad awaiting collection at Noordhoek Main Road toad barrier. Photo: Alison Faraday

We are keeping detailed records which also include the other critters seen. This list currently includes: Porcupine, crab, mouse, spider, tiger moth caterpillar, Cape sand frog.

We have rain predicted for the whole week so our patrollers are on high alert. The temperatures are pretty low though, and the toads don’t seem to walk when it’s too chilly – sensible fellows!”

For more about the Leopard toads see

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/12/successful-western-leopard-toad-breeding-season-at-restored-skilpadsvlei-wetland/

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/07/princess-the-leopard-toad-is-a-survivor-with-a-big-message/

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/07/volunteer-to-save-the-western-leopard-toad-and-have-fun/

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/09/endangered-leopard-toads-of-clovelly-to-feature-on-5050/

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/05/a-still-life-at-toad-hall/