What is the Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Program?

The Fraser Valley Conservancy has been working in the Ryder Lake neighbourhood since 2008 to protect amphibians and their habitats.

Our infamous “toad tunnel” was installed in 2015 to help amphibians safely cross the road.

 

Amphibians Under Threat

Across the Fraser Valley amphibians face a variety of threats. In the Ryder Lake neighbourhood, three major threats need our attention.

Road Mortality

Amphibians migrate from wetlands and ponds to forests, back and forth multiple times a year, to complete their lifecycles.

Many of the wetlands and ponds in this neighbourhood are surrounded by roads. Amphibians must cross these roads to breed and return to their forest homes. Unfortunately, many amphibians are killed attempting to make this journey.

Across the world, road mortality is a serious issue for species conservation planning, and especially for amphibians.

 

Check out this BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Guidelines for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation During Road Building and Management Activities in British Columbia” to learn more about road mortality impacts to amphibians and suggested best practices.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are those that do not originate in the area and cause harm to the local ecosystem. In the Ryder Lake neighbourhood, invasive plants and animals pose significant threats to amphibian populations.

 

One invasive plant, the Yellow flag iris, can dominate ponds and wetlands, create dense mats which decrease the suitability for native species. Read the Metro Vancouver Best Management Practice for Yellow flag iris here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The invasive American Bullfrog, recently detected in the Ryder Lake neighbourhood, can quickly spread across the landscape and outcompete native frogs for resources. Their impacts on sensitive ecosystems like this one are thought to be severe but are not fully understood. Check out our Bullfrogs and Biodiversity program page for more information. 

 

 

Habitat Loss and Fragmentation

Amphibians need healthy, connected habitats to complete their lifecycles. Habitat loss occurs when the features amphibians need, like forests, ponds, streams, and riparian (streamside) areas, are developed or removed from the landscape. When this occurs bit by bit in a neighbourhood, entire populations of amphibians can be affected and each loss is amplified by the next.

 

Similarly, habitat fragmentation is the loss of connection between habitat types. As properties are altered without careful stewardship planning, important connections between ponds and forests can be lost, leaving amphibians unable to access the areas they need to survive.

 

If you are wondering how your property might help connect habitats for species in your neighbourhood consider joining our Nature Stewards program.

 

 

 

 

What Does the Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Program Do?

Road Monitoring

Road surveys allow us to determine where important roads for mitigation actions are and how we can help.

Voluntary Detour

Annual voluntary detour routes allow residents and visitors avoid driving in areas with high densities of migrating Western Toads.

Volunteer Opportunities

From fencing to road surveys to pond checks, there are many ways you can get involved.
Learn More

Community Education

Educational workshops and community events bring amphibian awareness to Ryder Lake residents.

Toad Tunnel & Fencing

Through monitoring and fencing, the toad tunnel provides safe passage for migrating amphibians.

Bullfrog Management

Monitoring and control of invasive Bullfrogs.
Learn More

The Toad Tunnel

In 2015, we installed a specialized culvert under the road to allow for amphibians to cross safely. Learn more about the “toad tunnel” by reading our summary report.

Protection By the Numbers

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Native amphibian species seen using the tunnel

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Adult amphibian used the tunnel since 2015

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Juvenile toads used the tunnel since 2015

Program Partners

The Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Program is made possible by the generous support from these partner organizations. Thank you.