The Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) has been working with local landowners in Ryder Lake since 2008 to study the migration patterns of local amphibians. Adult Western toads spend the majority of their lives in woodland habitat but migrate to and from wetlands for breeding in the spring. These migrations often involve crossing roads and consequently many amphibians are run over. In Ryder Lake, Western toads, Red-legged frogs, Pacific Chorus frogs, Long-toed salamanders, Northwestern salamanders, and Roughskin newts are all found crossing and being killed on roads surrounding local breeding ponds. In addition, subadult Western toads (aka toadlets) migrate en mass from the wetland to the forest shortly following metamorphoses from the tadpole life stage.
In previous years, the FVC facilitated selective road closures to allow safe and natural crossings for young toadlets. In June 2015, a permanent solution of an amphibian crossing structure was installed in partnership with Lafarge Canada, The Langley Concrete Group, and Environment Canada. Fencing to guide the amphibians into the crossing structure was designed and installed with the support of Vancity and TD Friends of the Environment Fund. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is currently supporting efforts to assess the effectiveness of this crossing structure at helping Ryder Lake amphibians cross the road safely.
The FVC has been conducting night time road surveys for amphibians since 2010 and is currently conducting surveys. This data will be used to provide information on the local amphibian populations and to assess the impacts of the installed crossing structure. If you are interested in being a volunteer, please check out the Volunteer Opportunity webpage. If you would like to financially support this project, please refer to our Donations page.
This project would not be possible without the support of our partners:
- FVC RLAPP Monitoring Report (first year post-construction)
- BC Amphibian Fact Sheets (BC Frogwatch Program)
- BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer (provides information and risk status for native flora and fauna of BC).
- Award winning Video “Why Did The Toad Cross The Road” by Matthew Hawkins and Carin Bondar as shown on Discoveries Daily Planet.
- Video “Toads Crossing Roads” by FVC