Saturday, 20 July 2019

Spawning toads near end of road

ABOUT 6,900 toads have been helped across a busy road by the Henley Toad Patrol this year.

Last week, more than 230 toads were collected at the barrier on the north side of Marlow Road and taken to spawning ponds at Oaken Grove Wood, near Henley Business School.

A further 450 toads that had finished spawning and were heading “home” were carried back across the road and released into the wood.

Professor John Sumpter, a member of the patrol, said: “Although toads and other amphibians have continued to move in both directions in the last week, it seems clear that this year’s spawning migration is coming to an end.

“In the first half of the week there was a steady stream of toads heading for the pond to spawn, as well as a steady stream of toads leaving the pond after spawning and heading back to the woods.

“Colder, dry evenings in the last few days have almost completely stopped any amphibian movement and very few toads have been collected by the volunteers.

“As well as the toads, 70 common newts were collected at the barrier this week and taken across the road.

“The newts appear to migrate a little later in the spring than toads and frogs, which explains why they are still appearing in reasonable numbers.

“If spawning migration is nearing an end, then the toad total for the year will be around 6,900, making it a very good year for the toads.”

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