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|
“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|
“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.