Toads and frogs in springtime

Spring can be a dangerous time for amphibians.

The Common Frog, (Rana temporaria) also known ...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year again when masses of frogs and toads start migrating back to the ponds and other areas of water where they were born, sometimes covering a kilometer or more to get there. This is also the time of year where frogs and toads are at their most vulnerable and need our help. Many end up getting squashed by vehicles but you can help by carefully picking them up and moving them across any roads, in the direction they were heading. But always make sure you put your safety first, wear a reflective jacket and keep a careful eye out for cars and other vehicles, also see if you can get a friend to help you (oh and remember to wash your hands afterwards!).

Contact your local wildlife group to see if they have organized any local ‘toad patrols’ that you can help with, if not why not create your own group? You can ask to display posters in your local library or shops or at your local nature reserve. You can also visit the froglife website (www.froglife.org) who can offer further advice.

Common Toad

Image by Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr

If you have a pond in your garden you can encourage frogs and toads in by having shallow edges so they can easily get in and out of the water. At least one edge should taper off into moist vegetation like leaf litter, this will also offer food, shelter and a place for hibernation. Rocky outcrops will offer shade, shelter and a place to hide. You can also plant lots of native plants like Water Violets and March Marigolds. Frogs and toads will benefit your garden by eating pests such as moths, mosquitos, snails, slugs and flies. But the very best thing is that, if you follow the advice given here and provide the right environment frogs and toads will hopefully breed in your pond and return year after year.

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