It is that time of the year, when the endemic and endangered western leopard toads migrate from their garden homes to various water bodies to breed.
These toads live and breed in low-lying areas around Cape Town like Noordhoek, Zeekoevlei, Bergvliet and Observatory. As urban development took place in these areas, the toads moved into residential gardens, which is where they spend most of their time. That is until the winter rains start to fall. Now is the time when the toads breed and they migrate from gardens to water.
The males first make their way and when they are ready, they start calling the females with loud snoring calls.
This migration is fraught with danger.
Because of urban development, the toads’ breeding sites have been cut off from their residential garden homes by busy roads.
Each year hundreds of these endangered toads are killed by speeding motorists. It is easy to make a difference to the plight of this endangered species.
If you are a resident in one of the leopard toad breeding areas you can:
- Welcome toads to your garden by having a toad-friendly garden (avoid pesticides, build a few toad abodes)
- Make access holes in your garden walls so that the toads can move in and out of your garden easily
- Keep an eye open for the toads on the roads
- Slow down when driving during breeding season (especially on rainy nights)
- If you find a toad in the road, move it to the side of the road it was facing
- Volunteer to patrol your neighbourhood streets for migrating toads
- Tell your neighbours about the importance of these endangered toads
Have a look at these blogs for further reading about the endangered western leopard toad: