FROGS, toads and newts are at risk of being crushed by cars this month as they cross roads to get to wetlands to breed, an animal charity has warned.
According to Aspas, which protects wild animals, millions of amphibians are crushed each year, often dying painfully.
They are asking that people be aware of areas in their localities where frogs might be at risk and alert their departmental councils, who may be able to help with measures like putting up warning road signs.
You can also help by organising groups to collect the animals in buckets and take them across the road. This can be done in conjunction with the installation of special guttering along the road edges to catch them.
In many parts of France the best solution is to get involved with a local wildlife group that is already involved. The frogs will be heading en masse for breeding grounds this month, and coming back in around April and May. Tiny baby frogs may be crossing roads in June.
Aspas vice president Marc Giraud said: “A lot of people are needed – we need people with a bit of spare time, to move the frogs. They can also put up notices in local shops, for example, telling people to drive carefully because of them.
“You need permission from the council to install the gutters and then you have to have people willing to empty them with buckets morning and night for several months – or you can just take frogs across in your hands.
“Try to have slightly wet hands, so as not to harm the animal’s skin and be aware that as toads are slightly toxic, after a while your skin can sting a bit – it’s nothing serious, but remember to wash your hands afterwards, and don’t rub your eyes.”
You can get advice from Aspas, such as help with finding a local group, on 04 75 25 10 00, or see their website
Another national body concerned with amphibians can also advise: Société Herpétologique