To go upland into to the forest to breed, of course. However, thousands of these Western Toadlets will never make it across the highway.
Every year the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program hosts a volunteer bucketing session at Summit Lake on Hwy 6 to help these little guys get across the highway safely. In 2009, they had estimated that over 90,000 toadlets were killed on the road... making the Hwy so slippery that they actually had to sand the road! Eeeew!
Yesterday, we packed up the kids and drove the 1.5 hour drive to participate in this event. Unfortunately, the toads, like everything else in this area, were weeks behind. Consequently, there wasn't as many toads as there were in other years. We had to hunt for these toads, where as typically the beach is crawling with them. It was fun nonetheless for the kids to search for these tiny little toads.
Dan and Mister searching the bank.
They were hard to find as they were not only camouflaged, but very tiny! You have to be very gentle when scooping them up.
After scooping them up, we plopped them in a bucket... where they were counted and weighed.
Then we walked up to the Highway, where they had it shut down for this event.
After crossing the Highway, we released the toadlets behind a little fenced barrier protecting them from going on the highway.
Hopefully, we have given these toadlets a better chance to grow into large adults like these guys.
As soon as we released the toads, Mister immediately said, "Mom, can we do this again next year?"
The kids enjoyed it so much! It's nice to be able to participate in these programs... teaching our children to take an interest in the future of our wildlife.