Toad traffic

Toad traffic

Toads migrate back in Spring to their breeding ponds along well trodden toad traffic highways - back to the pond in which they were born.

This can cause them great danger as, over the years, roads or housing estates may have been built across their route but they will travel the same way as previously and try to cross roads with no awareness of the dangers. They walk or waddle slowly unlike frogs that leap and bound.

In some hotspot problem areas volunteer Toad Wardens help by carrying the toads over the roads in buckets to help them safely on their way.

Their journey's takes place later than that of the newts or frogs and they are fussy about their breeding ponds.

Toads like a deeper pond rather than a shallow one as she lays her eggs in long gelatinous strings whilst swimming with the male on her back so that he fertilises the eggs immediately. As she swims so the 1/2" wide strings of spawn get wrapped and tangled around the plant vegetation that is well below the water surface.

Emerging stems of Caltha palustris, foliage of Iris and other pond plants giving upright growth beneath the water as well as oxygenating plants are all good for the spawning toads but above all they need deep water space in which to perform.

You may need to lift the plants above the water to see the strings of eggs attached which is why toad spawn is not as frequently noticed as the frog spawn commonly laid on a shallow shelf.

For more detail on Toads in your pond see our Tips and Advice page.