Juvenile frogs and amphibians meet their demise on local roads.

Frogs, salamanders take another hit on road to migration

Habitat Acquisition Trust is asking for the public’s help to report any observations of frogs and salamanders crossings

  • Wed Sep 16th, 2015 7:00am
  • News

Juvenile frogs and amphibians are hitting the road for their fall migration. But what’s hitting them?

Habitat Acquisition Trust is asking for the public’s help to report any observations of frogs and salamanders crossings this fall, to help it identify the major problem sites and develop a mitigation plan for reducing this impact.

After a summer of extended drought, the cooler temperatures and rains bring a welcome change for the community and local wildlife on Southern Vancouver Island.

And with the wet weather, brings a mass migration of baby frogs and salamanders that are moving from their wetland habitat to the forest where many of them will settle for the winter.

This time of the year, introduced bullfrogs are also dispersing, and in many areas of the Capital Regional District most of the frogs you see on roads at night are juveniles of this invasive species. It is important to record where they occur and document sightings, so that HAT can keep track of their prevalence and spread within the region.

During this night-time migration, many species are faced with crossing busy roads and often meet their demise by fast-moving cars on slick roadways across.

As a result of this and several other factors including habitat loss, more than 60 percent of frog and toad species in B.C. are listed by federal and provincial agencies as being species of concern.

Last March during early spring showers, biologist Kristiina Ovaska and HAT volunteers surveyed local roads after reports of dead frogs. Hundreds of dead frogs and salamanders were located.

“Sometimes, there are things that can be done to improve road safety for amphibians” said Adam Taylor, executive director at HAT.

“Small fences can re-direct amphibians to lit culverts, or tunnels can be created if needed. But first we need to know where the problem spots are.”

If you see frogs, toads, newts or other salamanders crossing the road, or have seen high mortality areas where they have been squished by cars, report your sighting by filling out a form found on the Habitat Acquisition Trust website at hat.bc.ca.