In Upper Roxborough in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, children helped toads and frogs survive their migratory passage across a road, back to their natal pond (a reservoir) to lay their eggs. The volunteers recorded a count of toads, alive or dead. Naturalist-led toad walks help families understand the toad behavior. The Toad Detour blog has more details of the continuing effort.
Leigh Ashbrook, environmental science teacher, (and my cousin!) said, “The American toads and pickerel frogs are on the move by The Schuylkill Center, and volunteers have been helping safeguard their crossings over the busy roads by the reservoir to which they are homing to lay their eggs. The trilling of the toads is so beautiful! I lead an education ”toad walk” on Saturday night, and was pleased that several families came to learn about natural history of toads and to support the detouring of local traffic during toad migration.”
For students and teachers in northern Virginia, spring break usually arrives with warmer weather. For this science teacher, it comes a little too late. I’d like to be in the schoolyard helping the children document the changes in the plants which happen so fast this time of year.
To identify your local amphibians, check out the resources listed at the USGS site, An Online Guide for the Identification of Amphibians in North America north of Mexico. A web search for “frog calls” will turn up several sites where you can listen to calls to identify those you can hear but not see. Please note that toads and frogs can die from infectious diseases, and spread disease if they are exposed when raised in captivity and later released. The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) and Amphibian Ark describe how to sterilize containers before capture and after release.
Happy spring to all,