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

Surrey Eagles start playoffs on the road in Chilliwack

South Surrey junior ‘A’ squad back in BCHL playoffs for second time in six years

White Rock’s Coldest Night raises $102K

390 walkers participated in seventh-annual event

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Initial police report of 2015 accident was ‘inaccurate’ Langley RCMP say

Online statement issued to clarify that victim was not in the middle of the road

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

Most Read