Fraser Valley Conservancy

Fraser Valley Conservancy

July 09, 2009 09:00 ET

Ryder Lake Western Toad Migration Started: City Grants Temporary Road Closures

CHILLIWACK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 9, 2009) - The Ryder Lake Western Toad migration is under way and the Fraser Valley Conservancy is organizing a second year of volunteer effort to reduce toadlet road mortality by moving the amphibians across the road.

"They're early this year", says Fraser Valley Conservancy Biologist Zoey Slater, "Fortunately we're ready". Last year the Conservancy mobilized over one hundred volunteers to rescue more than 35,000 Western toads and other amphibians from road traffic. This year the toadlets are getting a helping hand from the City of Chilliwack who granted temporary road closures at Monday's council meeting. "We are very pleased with the support this year from the city, says Lisa Fox Executive Director of the Conservancy. "It means that the toads will have almost a full 3 day period to cross the roads unhampered by vehicles.

Like Salmon, Western Toads return to their natal wetland in spring when they are ready to breed. However, once breeding season is over, Western Toads spend the majority of their life in forested areas that provide terrestrial summer range and winter hibernation sites. The young western toads born at Hornby Lake have to cross the road each summer to reach forest and winter hibernation areas, "They just can't be re-directed elsewhere, they are following an instinctive path that takes them across the road", says Slater. Permanent long term solutions for the toads are being investigated this year.

The road closures will happen from 6 am to 11 pm on Elk View Road from Ryder Lake to Huston on each of July 11, 12 and 13, 2009. An alternate route is mapped out to direct traffic away from the area (local and emergency vehicles will be allowed). A map showing the alternate route can be found on the Conservancy's website at www.fraservalleyconservancy.ca. Volunteers are needed to help move the toads across.

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