World of the Bizarre
Road closed to aid mass toad crossing
By T.K. Randall
February 28, 2014 · 20 comments
Road signs warn drivers about the amphibians. Image Credit: PD - Man vyi
A road in Lincolnshire is to be closed for a month so that toads can reach their local breeding grounds.
The decision was made after large numbers of toads had ended up being killed during their efforts to cross the busy stretch of road near Sleaford last year.
"‘I am desperate for volunteers to help patrol this small stretch of road when the toads come out of hibernation in the woodland and then embark – females with males on backs – to make the hazardous journey across the road to their ancestral breeding grounds," said co-ordinator Fiona Cousland. "Last year, the carnage on this lane was horrendous!"
The problem is worsened by the fact that the toads are very difficult to see at night or when the weather is wet, leading to estimates than only 40 percent of those that try to cross the road without assistance actually survive the attempt.
"As the males hitch a ride on the females back to cross the road, not only one toad may be run over, but two toads are killed as they are together," said Cousland.
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