Count dead frogs to halt car deaths

Nature group wants wildlife lovers to join amphibian census so it can put in safe road crossings

13 March 2013

NATURE-lovers in Ile-de-France have been asked to help count amphibians as the region starts to warm up from the winter and the recent freezing weather.

However, Natureparif specifically wants people to count the number of dead frogs, toads, newts and salamanders that they see on the roads in a bid to set up future protection measures.

The agency said: “As soon as the temperatures start to rise amphibians migrate from their hibernation spots to marshes and ponds to reproduce. In Ile-de-France the infrastructure is so vast that they will often have to travel up to a kilometre to get to a pond and are forced to cross roads and face being crushed.”

When it finds out where amphibians are being killed it can set up different ways of helping them to cross safely – such as frog tunnels or traps where they can be collected and transferred to the nearest pond.

There are already a dozen such in existence and at Auffargis, where there has been a trap since 1994, the group saves 6,000 amphibians a year.

It calls on wildlife lovers to sign up to its website at amphibiens.natureparif.fr to cover a certain area and record the number of deaths.

It splits the amphibians into frogs and toads, which have no tail, and newts and salamanders which do. Newts have flat tails and salamanders' tails are round.

Photo: Guillaume Larregle

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