It’s almost Toad Time – time for the Endangered Leopard toads to use the roads to make their way to the breeding ponds in the Far South Peninsula. In the Fish Hoek Valley, the Silvermine Wetlands, Clovelly golf course and Sun Valley ponds are breeding hot spots. Please drive with extra care especially at night when it is raining. Road kill is a significant threat to toads. As the breeding season usually starts in late July till mid – September, there could be toads on the roads for a few months. If they are facing you their white bibs reflect in the car lights – much like white stones. Turned around they look like small dark triangles.
If you see a Leopard Toad on the road the first prize is to stop, pick it up and place it on the pavement in the direction it was heading. They are not at all slimy just a little cool to touch. The side effect of moving them to safety is the warm glow that comes from rescuing a wild neighbour. Consolation prize is to drive in a wide arc around the toad so that it does not jump up under the car.
What is so special about the Western Leopard Toads? They are part of our natural heritage and local biodiversity. Biodiversity is synonymous with having natural capital. It provides a range of survival options – for us as much as for the toads. We all croak in a world without frogs and toads!
While we do not know all the roles Leopard Toads play in Nature, we do know they are valuable snail and insect
control agents. Also, because of their sensitivity to pollution, toads are indicators of a healthy eco system. Their presence in our local; wetlands is an indication of generally good water quality. Unlike frogs which live in water, toads live on land. Once a year in late winter they migrate to water bodies to mate and to lay eggs. On windless nights the purring calls of mating males is as loud as a bikers rally and can be heard in those parts of Fish Hoek and Sunvalley close to the wetlands and throughout much of Clovelly.
For more info contact Far South Co-ordinator Alison Faraday on 082 771 6232 or Clovelly Leopard Toad co-ordinator Kim Kruyshaar on 076 454 8467.
Kim Kruyshaar 07 2017