It’s almost time for South Langley’s annual toad migration, and the staff and volunteers at the A Rocha environmental group are getting ready to protect the amphibious travellers on their journey.
Every year, western toads hatch by the tens of thousands in ponds just north of Campbell Valley Regional Park near 200th Street, close to the Langley-Surrey border.
From there, they migrate north into woodlands where they will spend most of their lives, before returning to the ponds to lay eggs.
However, to complete their migration, the toads have to cross several roads, which is why A Rocha volunteers are already building a temporary toad fence.
The fence is a barrier that guides many of the toads into a culvert that runs under 20th Avenue, thus preventing many of the toads from becoming roadkill.
The hatching event is expected to start in July, said A Rocha conservation biologist Laura Tsai.
It’s hard to say how many toads will hatch. The number varies depending on whether conditions are good – typically damp and cool – or too dry and hot for the toads to make it far from the ponds.
Tsai said the migration is expected to start around mid-July.
At that time, signs will be uncovered warning drivers to go slow and avoid certain routes unless they live in or are visiting the area.
The roads are:
• 20th Avenue from 196th Street to 200th Street
• 198th Street from 24th Avenue to 20th Avenue
• 196th Street from 16th Avenue to 20th Avenue
A Rocha will do a toad count as the hatching begins to get an idea of how healthy the population is.
Western toads are native to the Lower Mainland, but must now compete for space with houses, roads, and invasive species like bullfrogs.
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