6 March 2012

Euro Vision for Amphibians on Roads

Here in the UK, wildlife charity Froglife, volunteers and local groups have been working for many years to help prevent roads annihilating local populations of Common toads through the Toads on Roads project. On the bigger scale, this week Froglife is coordinating the first meeting of organisations and groups representing twelve European countries to develop a joint approach to the issue of amphibians and roads.

The first European workshop about amphibians on roads is hosted by Froglife this week
On the 7th and 8th of March 2012, scientists and representatives from the world of amphibian conservation in France, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Lithuania, Denmark, Netherlands, Romania, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and the UK will be meeting at the Town Hall in Peterborough. Brought together by Froglife, the workshop will be the start of problem solving discussions with the aim of developing a vision for conservation projects to tackle the issue of amphibians and roads.

“This is a very important development for achieving better coordination, information exchange and lobbying for a more sustainable future for amphibians living close to roads. Hundreds of thousands of these animals are killed every year on our roads leading to declines and destructions of populations,” explains Dr Silviu Petrovan, Froglife’s Conservation Coordinator. “There is some really interesting work being done in terms of research and conservation efforts in individual countries, so we will all benefit by getting together and starting a plan for more collaboration.”
In the UK, Common toads are often cut off from their breeding ponds by roads
In the UK, it’s generally Common toads (Bufo bufo) that are most affected by roads; being incredibly faithful to their hereditary breeding ponds and travelling en masse in spring - roads separating toads from their hibernation habitats can cause severe problems.

“With road infrastructure constantly being developed in Europe, especially in the newer members of the EU, the issue is a pressing one,” adds Dr Petrovan. “There is a need to identify the most effective mitigation techniques to prevent further extinctions in areas where new roads are planned, as well as taking a coordinated approach to monitoring existing measures such as amphibian tunnels, green bridges and volunteer patrols.”

The EU Toads on Roads conference is the first step in developing a coordinated approach to disseminate best practice information, undertake research and take steps to prevent further amphibian declines in Europe. The conference is sponsored by ACO Ltd, manufacturers of water management systems for roads, as well as amphibian tunnels and fencing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its a pity that you have no one representing Brussels, Belgium, the capital of Europe!
Theres a lot going on here

Richard H