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.

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

Ride-hailing arrives in North Delta

Uber’s picking up passengers in North Delta, Ladner, but Tsawwassen is still waiting for the service

Plans for apartments on Strawberry Hill shopping site coming to Surrey council

It would be near the library, and include 123 rental units

Man killed in fall from Civic Hotel balcony in Surrey

Heavy emergency services presence in plaza at the skyscraper, at 13475 Central Ave.

New Delta police canine unit aims to catch commuting criminals

Traffic Specialty Dog Unit (TSDU) to focus on road safety, vehicles and goods passing through Delta

Outdoor skating rink at free Winter Festival in Surrey, with food trucks and more

At Guildford Town Centre, hit the ice for free with your own skates or rent some for donation

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

5 things you need to know to start using ridesharing in Metro Vancouver

From how to get started to where drivers can take you, heres all you need to know

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read