Last year, we talked about a mass migration of toads that had to cross Highway 19 north of Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
Events like these are actually not uncommon in B.C., and in some areas they can happen several times a year. Like near Summit Lake on Highway 6, just southeast of Nakusp.
Having to cross this highway just once would be challenging enough, but these toads actually make the trip three times in their life.
They spend the winter in the mountains on the opposite side of the road. As the weather warms, they hop across the highway to lay their eggs in the lake. Then, as the temperature starts to drop again, they bound back to the mountains. It’s a cycle that sees thousands of toads on the road at different times of the year. And we do our best to get them across.
That’s why we’ve installed special toad culverts under the highway, as well as toad fences to direct them to the culverts. It might seem surprising that we have dedicated critter crossings, but it’s actually something we’ve done for a very long time, beginning back in the 1950s when we built rattlesnake crossings under the roads in the Okanagan.
To increase their chances further, we help organize special toad events each year. The affair attracts hundreds of volunteers and helps thousands of toads get where they need to go.
You can find out more information about the event and how to volunteer by visiting BC Hydro’s website.
The toads next migration will be happening soon, so if you have some free time and you’re looking for a good deed to do, why not come on down to Summit Lake and help a toad or two?