A western toad. (Suzie Wolf)

VIDEO: Protection requested as toads prep for thousands-strong migration in Lower Mainland

Local environmentalists have asked for temporary road closure to avoid squishing the animals

It’s a short migration, but it can be a big one when it comes to the western toad in South Langley, according to local environmentalists.

Christy Juteau of A Rocha Canada was at Monday evening’s Township council meeting to ask for some local road closures in Fernridge in July.

The western toads are a “species of special concern” under Canada’s Species At Risk Act, said A Rocha conservation intern Emily Walker.

The proposed road closures are to protect the migration of the juvenile toads, which will soon be leaving their ponds.

“The western toad juveniles do this all at once, which creates a mass migration event which may be tens of thousands of individuals strong,” Walker said.

WATCH: 2017 toad migration

The hot spots are 20th and 18th Avenues, between 196th and 200th Street.

The dime-sized toadlets leave a pair of wetlands, both on private property, and head into wooded areas to the north and west of their ponds, in both Langley and Surrey.

Juteau noted that with other animals, such as deer, it’s possible to post signs warning drivers to slow down. But the toads can carpet fields – and roads – in a peak year.

“With these toads, it doesn’t matter if you’re going slow or fast, you kill just as many,” Juteau said.

In 2017, there were an estimated 96,000 young toads on the move in the area.

Surrey has already supported a temporary closure on 196th Street during the migration, Juteau told the Township council.

The temporary road closures are expected to be one to two weeks long, Juteau said.

Last year, the roads were not closed as A Rocha Canada approached the Township too late in the spring for staff to organize a closure and detour.

This year, they have been in contact with the staff earlier, Juteau said.

Long term, the area where the toads live will become more developed. As part of neighbourhood planning, A Rocha is working with the Township on creating underground tunnels that could hopefully allow the toads to move beneath the roads during the annual event.

Just Posted

LETTER: Money from oil not worth the risk

Agassiz resident Sharon Francis writes about her opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Harrison Festival to host viewing of local ‘Still Standing’ episode

Comedian Jonny Harris came to Harrison Hot Springs in January to film part of his TV series

Blowback from the Trudeau in brownface debacle reaches Chilliwack

PM in questionable photos released in the middle of the federal election campaign had ripple effects

‘I just can’t believe it’: Agassiz swimmer brings home six medals from seniors games

Patti Komar won three gold and three silver medals in her first competition in 48 years

VIDEO: Agassiz Fall Fair celebrates 115 years of fair fun

From 4H shows to pie eating contests, the annual fair brought its best to the community this year

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Surrey school district OKs students skipping class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Most Read