Let volunteers help toads migrate after curfew, animal groups say

A temporary 30 kph zone to protect migrating toads. Photo: Depositphotos.com
A temporary 30 kph zone to protect migrating toads. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Thousands of frogs, toads and salamanders could be under threat if the government does not allow volunteers to help them cross the roads after 9pm, animal protection group Dierenbescherming says.

The organisation and The Hague’s local branch of left-wing green party GroenLinks have urged The Hague’s mayor Jan van Zanten and ministers to exempt people helping with this spring’s toad migration from the curfew rules.

In early spring, when it starts getting warmer, thousands of frogs, toads and salamanders set out in search of spawning ponds after sunset, and thousands of them get squashed on the roads every year.

Hundreds of volunteers patrol places where the amphibians are known to congregate to take them to safety during the migration period. But this year, volunteers have to be home by 9pm and won’t be able to assist the frogs and toads in crossing roads safely.

‘The toad has an important role in the entire ecosystem and every year volunteers in The Hague help more than 10,000 toads, frogs and salamanders to cross our busy roads,’ Dierenbescherming spokesman Arjen Kapteijns said.

‘Of course there is a reason why we have a curfew, but hopefully our mayor will be willing to help find a solution so our volunteers can do their very useful work.’

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