Toad Patrol

By Kristina Gore

If you’ve ever been to Bluestone in early spring you may have noticed that a number of toads have checked in at the resort and there's a very special reason for this. As temperatures begin to rise upward of 5°C between February and early spring, our toads move from their overwintering sites and make their way to their annual breeding ground – our lake!

Toads have a strong migratory instinct and once they have found the perfect place to breed they will travel the same route to reach it year after year. Sadly the “Green Cross Toad” isn’t taught at toadlet school and this can put them in danger when it comes to crossing footpaths and roads.

Wildlife wellbeing is extremely important to us at Bluestone and this is why we have created the Bluestone Toad Patrol to help our amphibian friends. Do you fancy helping them too? Join the Bluestone Toad Patrol during your spring break!

Here's how to help if you see a toad on a busy footpath at Bluestone:

• Collect a bucket from outside Ranger HQ.

• Pick the toad up around its belly and gently place it into the bucket. If you find a few toads, you can place more than one into the bucket at one time - but please make sure that they aren’t piled on top of one another.

• Transport the toads to the far side of the lake (opposite Ranger HQ), and place the toads on the grass nearest the lake.

• Return the bucket for other Toad Patrollers to use.

• Wash your hands thoroughly. (We know what you’re thinking and don't worry, toads won’t give you warts, despite popular myths! Their skin does however contain a very mild toxin which could cause a slight irritation if you do not wash your hands after handling them).

Toadlet Time

Early summer is when we’ll start to see toadlets appear around the resort. They’re pretty hard to miss as they’re usually in their hundreds!

Once the tadpoles have grown into toadlets, they’ll start to migrate away from the lake and our toad patrol work will continue. Once again, we’ll be asking guests to get involved by moving our toadlets to safety, onto grassy or woodland areas, away from any busy roads or footpaths.

All being well, our guests will be able to spot their toadlets again next year when they return to the lake to restart the toad lifecycle.

Fantastic Toad Facts

Here's a few fun facts that make toads terrific:

• The common toad has a lifespan of 10-12 years.

• Toads do not live in water and will only travel to it to breed. 

• Toads like to live in warm damp places such as under a rock or perhaps an empty watering can in your garden! 

• Toads will let out a screaming noise if threatened.

• Female toads are larger than the males.

• Toads croak to attract a mate.

Categories:Activities, Children, Environment, Events and Whats On, Family, News, Spring

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