Amphibian spring migration in the Netherlands

According to the Dutch herpetologists and ichthyologists of RAVON, amphibian spring migration in the Netherlands has started, now that the worst of the winter cold seems to be over.

In the northern province of Friesland, volunteers have already helped over 300 amphibians to cross dangerous roads safely.

During the first round, the volunteers found 62 amphibians in their buckets: 55 great crested newts, five common newts and two common frogs.

Later, they helped 157 animals to cross; including 124 great crested newts.

In the rest of the Netherlands, the amphibians’ spring migration seems to start more slowly. Only a few common frogs have been seen.

March 2010. Volunteers are gearing up to rescue over 40,000 toads from potential death on the UK’s roads in the coming fortnight, setting a new record: here.

ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2010) — Atrazine, one of the world’s most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists: here.

Each spring, thousands of species begin an annual return to their breeding grounds. Here are some of the more extraordinary example: here.

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2 thoughts on “Amphibian spring migration in the Netherlands

  1. Frog counting plan leaves Irish politician hopping mad

    The survey will examine the distribution of the common frog

    Politicians in the Irish Republic have been left “hopping mad” after a plan to study the country’s frog population was rubber-stamped.

    Queen’s University in Belfast (QUB) has signed a 70,000 euros contract to count the numbers of the amphibian.

    But opposition politicians have criticised the environment minister John Gormley who gave the go ahead despite the country’s economic woes.

    Member of parliament Michael Ring said the contract was “outrageous”.

    The Fine Gael member added: “We have more important things to be spending our money on, fixing the country for a start, rather than going around counting frogs.”

    The Department of the Environment said it hoped the study would provide an “up-to-date understanding of frog distribution”.

    The survey, to be carried out by scientists from the Quercus biodiversity unit at QUB, will cover both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.

    The common frog is the only species found in Ireland and is also the country’s most common amphibian. It is a protected species because its population is declining throughout Europe.


  2. Nightly patrols saving toads in a hole

    7:00pm Friday 19th March 2010

    By Darren Slade

    DRIVERS are being urged to avoid a road where volunteers rescued around 500 toads on one night.

    Despite the nightly efforts of the Ringwood Toad Patrol, some toads have still been squashed by careless drivers.

    The mild but wet weather over recent nights has produced the ideal conditions for toads to migrate across a field, heading for the gravel lakes in the area of Gorley Road.

    Toad patrol volunteers picked up around 100 of the amphibians on Wednesday night and around 500 on Thursday, said organiser Teresa Baker, and were expecting to pick up hundreds more last night.

    “We want to request that drivers avoid the road because they will be held up,” she said. “We are patrolling. We do have to stop and get out. If you want to get home fast, don’t use the Gorley Road.”

    Drivers that do use the route are being asked to drive cautiously and heed the warning signs to avoid squashing toads.

    Toads will only cross the road between dusk and dawn and when the temperature is above five degrees celsius. They normally travel back to where they were born in order to spawn, between January and April.

    Toads have been spawning earlier during the recent mild winters. But this year’s harsh weather has led them to spawn later, more in line with their normal behaviour.

    “In the UK there are 750 crossing sites which have been registered in the last 25 years and this particular site is one of the most important,” said Teresa.

    The volunteers have thanked drivers who have driven cautiously during the spawning season.

    Anyone who would like to join the patrols should call 01425 478891.


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