Several thousand western toads were migrating through rural properties in South Langley on Wednesday, their move sparked by the heavy rains. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

The toads of South Langley were on the move Wednesday morning.

Thousands of western toads began pouring out of a few properties near 18th Avenue and starting their annual migration into nearby wooded areas, said Laura Newberry, a conservation biologist for A Rocha Canada.

“Because we had rain this morning, that’s why we’re seeing the big push,” said Newberry.

The young toads are very small – not much larger than a nickel. But there are a lot of them.

Newberry said A Rocha has a very rough estimate of about 60,000 hatched this year and matured from tadpoles to emerge from one of two breeding ponds near 18th Avenue, west of 200th Street.

READ MORE: Protection requested as toads prep for thousands-strong migration in South Langley, Surrey

Signs are up warning drivers to steer clear of parts of 18th and 20th Avenues and 196th Street for the time being.

The toads in past years have carpeted the roads – which can lead to mass deaths under the wheels of cars.

The western toad is a species of special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, and A Rocha staff, interns, and volunteers have been trying to keep them off the roads entirely for the past couple of years.

A funnel-style fence has been built leading up to a culvert on 20th Avenue, to funnel the toads under the road.

Once north of 20th Avenue, they’ll disperse into the woods, said Newberry.

Some will head off into Campbell Valley Regional Park, some will head as far west into Surrey as A Rocha’s headquarters at 192nd Street.

A fair number of them will provide food for other animals. A garter snake was hanging around the toad fence on Wednesday morning, its stomach already swollen with what was likely a large meal of toadlets.

A raccoon mother and her pair of kits were also nearby, likely waiting to grab a snack, said Newberry. Birds and small mammals will also eat a fair number of the toads.

There is still much to learn about the local toad population, noted Newberry. A Rocha has only been monitoring the migration for seven years.

Last year the toads didn’t seem to migrate at all during a long, hot, dry summer.

This year, one of the two ponds where they breed didn’t produce any toadlets at all. It’s possible they are reproducing on a cycle, she said.

The Township has posted signs on several local roads and drivers are asked to stay off certain areas unless they are residents.

The migration rush was initiated by the weather, but toads are likely to keep moving for a week or two.

BrookswoodConservationEnvironmentLangleyWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A garter snake showed up to have a snack during the toad migration. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Several thousand western toads were migrating through rural properties in South Langley on Wednesday, their move sparked by the heavy rains. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read