A Toad Tunnel at last!
In 2008, we started working with the community of Ryder Lake to prevent thousands of juvenile Western toads (toadlets) from being killed during their annual summer migration across a rural road.
Last summer, after seven years of research, partnership building and fundraising, we installed a “toad tunnel.” We used our conservation biology expertise to figure out the most amphibian-friendly design, and we welcomed support from numerous funders (both government and private corporations) as well as countless dedicated volunteers from the community.
This summer we counted over 35,000 toadlets using the tunnel! This is not the actual count, only what our survey picked up. We have identified six amphibian species (two of which are at risk) who now use tunnel. In 2016, every toadlet saved by the tunnel cost $1.50. This was all paid for by grants and donations.
We continue to monitor how well the toads use the directional fencing that guides them towards the tunnel instead of crossing the road. We are working with our partners to develop better permanent fencing and hopefully a culvert design that can be easily used in other locations. While we have helped reduce the impact of road mortality for the amphibians of Ryder Lake, our ultimate goal is to see other municipalities be able to incorporate amphibian crossing structures into future road works whenever a road is built through wetland habitat.
Read the full story and see photos documenting the tunnel construction on our website.