RLAPP – Update May 2014

This season has been very interesting for the amphibians migrating in the Ryder Lake area! We have conducted 15 evening surveys for adult amphibians since March 6, 2014 and have seen many amphibians both dead and alive. Before May 15, 2014, 283 amphibians were found alive of which 92 were Western Toads and 90 were Red-legged Frogs. A total of 533 amphibians were found dead on the road of which 108 were Western Toads and 214 were Red-legged frogs. Overall, 35% of amphibians found along the survey route have been alive. The table below shows the numbers to date.

If you have any questions about this project please contact us at projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca or 604-625-0066.


Species BC Status # Alive # Dead Total Proportion Alive Species composition
Northwestern Salamander Yellow List 10 12 22 45% 3%
Long-toed Salamander Yellow List 6 6 12 50% 1%
Western Toad Blue List 92 108 200 46% 25%
Pacific Chorus Frog Yellow List 80 148 228 35% 28%
Northern Red-legged Frog Blue List 90 214 304 30% 37%
Roughskin Newt Yellow List 5 29 34 15% 4%
Unidentified NA 0 16 16 0% 2%
TOTAL 283 533 816 35%
Total # cars passing surveyors 276

Looking for Amphibian Detectives!

We are currently looking for tough volunteers to help with our ongoing night time amphibian surveys as a component of our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.  The objective of this survey is to determine the effectiveness of an amphibian crossing structure at reducing road mortality.  We will be counting live and dead amphibians along a stretch of Ryder Lake and Elk View roads in Chilliwack, BC.

Volunteers must be prepared to walk 6 km in cold, dark and wet conditions while hunting for amphibians.  Surveys will start after dark and last until the survey is complete, generally 1-4 hours.  You will need warm gloves, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and boots.  Surveys will be conducted starting immediately until June.  Unfortunately, surveys cannot be planned in advance as they are completely dependent on rainy weather.

If you are interested in volunteering for this project please e-mail Kendra Morgan (projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca) and you will be added to a contact list.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail or call (604-625-0066).

Thanks for all the “Toad” Support!

WT-Road-Closed-300x225Thank you for the generous donations towards our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Program!

Due to the recent media exposure, the story about the Ryder Lake toads have touched the hearts of many, so many in fact we have received over $1500 in donations this past month! It is hard to express, not only as staff, but also as a not for profit organization, how grateful we are for your generosity!

Many of you whom donated to this project expressed a need to be kept up to date about the progress of the toads and the project as a whole. As a result we added a new webpage to our site titled “RLAPP Updates” which includes updates about the project, recent video and photo’s as well as links to recent media exposure.

The best way to support the little toadlets is through our Toonie for a Toad fundraising campaign, there are several ways you can donate:

In Person: Drop by the office with your contribution

By Mail: Send a cheque payable to the Fraser Valley Conservancy to our address:

PO Box 2026 Abbotsford BC V2T 3T8

On the Internet: Make a payment through Canada Helps.org


Again, thank you for all the support!

Suzie MacMillan

Office & Field Manager


Toads are on the Move

amphibian-monitoring-2011-225x300During the night of March 15th, Steve Clegg our Environmental Stewardship Coordinator went out for this seasons first night-time amphibian monitoring session and found 68 amphibians from 6 different species on the road in Ryder Lake, Chilliwack. 87% of the amphibians found were killed by vehicles including females carrying up to 16,500 eggs. The Western Toads, Red-legged Frogs, Pacific Treefrogs, Rough-skinned Newts, Northwestern Salamanders, and Western Red-backed Salamanders all make three yearly migrations between different habitat types. This recent monitoring session marked the beginning of the first adult migration of the year towards the breeding wetland. As they travel, they are forced to cross local roads and face vehicular mortality. Continue reading

Herpetofauna and Roads

P7270028-web-300x224From February 21st-23rd 2011 the staff from FVC attended a workshop on Herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) and their mortality on roads, in Nanaimo BC.  The Ministry of Environment, BC Frogwatch, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Northwest chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, the Association of Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds, and the Biology Department of Vancouver Island University co-hosted the two-day workshop on Herps and Roads. The workshop brought scientists, environmental managers, engineers and non-governmental organizations together to discuss the impacts of vehicular mortality on herpetofauna while migrating across roads and mitigative measures that can be used to reduce those impacts. The two-day workshop included world renowned plenary speaker, Miklós Puky, who specializes in herpetofauna and road ecology in Europe. The workshop also featured invited speakers and poster presentations focused on case studies in Canada and the USA. Through the connections made and the resources collected, we  have a better understanding of how to implement mitigation measures for our local populations of herpetofauna, especially for our study site in Ryder Lake. Continue reading

Why Did The Toad Cross The Road?

Congratulations to Matthew Hawkins  and PhD Biologist Carin Bondar for winning the 3rd Annual Film Snacks Award.  Their entry, “Why Did the Toad Cross the Road” received unanimous praise from film snacks judges. The film won for its creativity, original story-telling, and choice of environmental topic. The Film highlights FVC’s Amphibian Protection Project, to view the film check out our YouTube channel

“Why did the Toad Cross the road?” by Matthew Hawkins