A wise frog once said, “It isn’t easy being green.” Well thanks to the Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC), the City of Chilliwack and some support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), life has gotten a little easier for the Western Toads of BC.
“Two local roads bisect the Western Toad population from their breeding wetland in Ryder Lake, making it a dangerous trek for the hundreds of thousands of toadlets looking to make their natural migratory journey each summer,” said Lisa Fox, Fraser Valley Conservancy. “Working with local officials and residents and with support from TD FEF, we are able to temporarily close the roads, allowing for the natural migration of hundreds of thousands of toadlets cross Elk and Ryder Lake Roads, thus ensuring the species can contribute to the natural web of life.”
This year, the FVC is testing a structure that may be suitable for permanent placement under the road that will allow some adult and juvenile to pass under the road.
“The Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Program is a great example of a community working together to address and manage key local conservation issues,” said Aurora Bonin, Regional Manager for TD FEF. “Supporting local efforts to protect and maintain local wildlife is a priority for TD FEF, and we applaud the Fraser Valley Conservancy, the City of Chilliwack, as well as the dozens of staff and volunteers who – year after year – continue to foster a culture of conservation in the community.”
Western Toads are very effective at eating algae and insects and in turn become tasty morsels for birds, snakes, small mammals.
“They are the building blocks of the local ecosystem, our work helps to ensure as many of them survive as possible, this increases the health of the local ecosystem,” adds Fox.
In 2009 the City of Chilliwack granted a temporary road closure that allowed countless numbers to cross un-hindered by vehicles. This year the City of Chilliwack has again granted FVC an additional road closure. FVC feels this project is directly linked to their goal of promoting land stewards and an ethic of conservation in the community.
The FVC also has a fundraising program called ‘Toonies for Toads’, which helps pay for long term solutions for toadlet migration.
“We would like to implement a long-term strategy, which includes changing community behavior and minimizing road closures over the next few years,” says Lisa Fox, but FVC needs your help. “We know people like to view the migration, but as the area is very environmentally sensitive we encourage those interested to stay tuned to our websites for videos, and collect Toonies for the Toads”.
This program benefits other amphibian species as well including Red-legged Frogs, Pacific Tree Frog, Newts, salamanders and shrews. Since 2010 FVC has implemented no-touch or ‘natural’ migrations that have resulted in an estimated one million juvenile Western Toads making safely across on their own.
About Fraser Valley Conservancy:
The Fraser Valley Conservancy’s mandate is to preserve and acquire lands with ecological or cultural significance in the Fraser Valley. We believe that healthy human communities begin with a healthy environment. Our purposes are to protect and preserve land and watercourses with ecological or historic value, and to promote, facilitate, and engage in landowner stewardship activities. In fulfilling our mandate we encourage voluntary land stewardship and community engagement, and we restore, manage, and protect land. For more information about FVC please visit http://www.fraservalleyconservancy.ca/
About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation:
Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $54 million in funding to over 19,500 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit http://www.fef.td.com/.
For further information:
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
Fraser Valley Conservancy