Christy Juteau (front, centre), the national conservation science director of the A Rocha environmental group, leads about 20 people in search of the toadlets that have been known to swarm the area of 20 Avenue between 196 and 200 Streets in Langley during breeding season. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Toad tour comes up dry in Langley

Hot weather blamed for absence of toadlets near breeding area

“Let’s try and stay off the grass,” Christy Juteau warned a group of about 20 people, as they walked along a Langley street Saturday afternoon (July 14), heads down, looking for signs of the annual toad migration.

Juteau, the national conservation science director of the A Rocha environmental group, didn’t want anyone accidentally stepping on the tiny toadlets that have been known to swarm the area of 20 Avenue between 196 and 200 Streets during breeding season.

Juteau said the tiny amphibians started to emerge about two days earlier but the hot, dry weather was making them move slower than usual.

“We have seen them starting to come in this direction,” Juteau said.

“We know where they are.”

The toads have been staying within the damp vegetation next to the wetlands on private property, an area that is not accessible to the tour.

Originally about 50 people had signed up for the tour, but after A Rocha issued an advisory that no toads would likely be seen, only about 20 people turned up.

And while they all kept a close eye out for the dime-sized creatures, none were found.

“They are missing in action,” said Surrey resident Stephen Gow, who brought his wife and children with him.

Gow said it was still a worthwhile, “educational” trip.

A Rocha has announced a new alternate tour date: Saturday, July 21 at 9 a.m. when the temperature will be cooler and the odds of seeing the migration will be better.

Those interested are asked to register in advance online at the A Rocha website at arocha.ca/event/a-rocha-toad-tour.

Interested parties can also sign up for one of the toad road surveys, scheduled on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Toad road surveys involve walking approximately 2km of road and counting the live and dead toads observed.

The Western toad is a species at risk.

Each year in late June and early July, the toadlets migrate from nearby breeding ponds to other areas of Langley and Surrey.

Last year, an estimated 96,000 toadlets made the trip.

A Rocha asked the Township of Langley to implement a temporary road closure on 20 Avenue to prevent the carnage that occurs when cars run over the toadlets.

READ MORE: Township declines temporary road closure for toadlet migration

The section of 20 Avenue where the toads cross is a collector road, and traffic would have to be redirected to 16 Avenue and 196 Street, where many accidents have occurred, a staff report warned.

The City of Surrey would have to sign off on the road closure as well.

Township council decided instead to put up signage to warn motorists about the toad migration, and A Rocha is installing wildlife fencing to help herd them.

READ MORE: VIDEO: A torrent of toadlets through Langley yard

A Rocha, an organization based in Surrey that has done environmental work on the Little Campbell Watershed, has been monitoring the toadlet migration for five years.

It has reported counting anywhere from 30 toads in 2015 to 96,000 in 2017.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Last year, an estimated 96,000 toadlets migrated through a Langley neighbourhood Langley Times file photo

Just Posted

VIDEO: Gateway to Aldergrove mural celebrated

Artists and sponsors join Kitchen Korner in marking downtown arts achievement

A call for a limit on how long Langley councillors can serve

Veteran council member says four terms should be the maximum

Cops for Cancer ride beats fundraising goal

Cyclists roll through Langley

For Langley farms with no farmers and farmers with no farms, a solution

Township supports land matching program to aid new farmers

Giant-Hawk name swap for Major Midget League hockey teams

League leaders last year, Valley West squad starts season on the road this weekend

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Most Read