Sunday, May 26, 2019
Home World In this ski resort, volunteers make toads cross safely

In this ski resort, volunteers make toads cross safely

A toad saved on the road to Isola 2000. – Catherine Guerin / Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis

  • Every year, dozens of toad corpses were found on this road to Isola, at the level of Snow Lake.
  • Amphibians winter on one side of the road and breed on the other.
  • A toadrome was set up with the help of volunteers while waiting for the final solution, the toad.

Nobody taught them to slow down at the sight of a road. To look to the right and to the left, then to cross, if and only if, no vehicle approaches. The Isola toads are vulnerable: they are crushed at the level of the snow lake. This year, the city has set up
a device to help them cross safely.

"At this level of the road, there is a forest. This is an area for hibernating toads, explains Pauline Chevalier, Natura 2000 biodiversity project manager within the
metropolis Nice Côte d'Azur. In spring, they come out of hibernation and are attracted by the smell of water. Toads join the lake and are massively crushed. Because a road separates their two places of life.

A protected species

Until June, it is hand in hand with volunteers that amphibians cross the road every day between 8:30 and 9:30. "We put in place a temporary device: a toadrome, announces Pauline Chevalier. Nets were set up along the road and we buried jumps every 20 meters at the foot of the net. Once the animal falls in the jump, volunteers count them and check if it is a male or a female. Then it's time to cross this protected species.

The toad is a protected species.
The toad is a protected species. – Catherine Guerin / Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis

Net and jumps have been placed on both sides of the road as toads will return after breeding in the lake, where the female will have laid eggs in the water and the male will have fertilized the eggs. Again, they are volunteers who will help them avoid car tires. Moreover, the city is looking for volunteers to take part in this participatory science experiment.

From toad to toad

The toadrome cost 4,000 euros in material. In addition to protecting amphibians, the device will help to better understand the population on this site. And so to better size a possible toad, an animal tunnel whose funding could reach 20,000 euros.

A net and jumps were put in place to protect the toads from the road.
A net and jumps were put in place to protect the toads from the road. – Catherine Guerin / Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolis

Meanwhile, a triangular panel surrounded by red with a black toad, and the mention "Night crossing, slow down", warns of the presence of toads. Fires for alternating traffic have also been put in place. To save the life of toads.

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