Plonie helps toads cross, otherwise they will be crushed

The toads have now woken up from their hibernation and so the toad migration from their winter home has started. But yes, that is actually not the intention at all. It is still far too early for the toad migration, but due to the mild weather they are already heading out. Plonie van Campen from the toad working group of the IVN Geldrop nevertheless helps the toads during this period. “Sooner than I would like, but if we don’t help them they will be killed.”

Profile photo of Noël van Hooft

Plonie and other volunteers have been helping the toads cross for more than two weeks. They ensure that the toads safely reach the pool where they will mate.

“Although you would think that it is very quiet here in terms of traffic, there are quite a few cars driving in the evening,” Plonie explains. She walks on the Rederijklaan and shines a flashlight on the road. She then points her flashlight at the side of the road. “There we find toads that are ready to cross.”

Toads crossing a road are a problem – not for us, but for themselves. “The toads always cross the road here. There is a good chance that they will be killed by a car. You can’t see them from the car. When they get hit, they almost always win. Toads won’t survive that.”

It is now mid-February. It’s early for toads to start their migration. “Yes, we have been seeing this for some time. It’s a shame for nature and the amphibians. They must actually still be in their hibernation. They normally wake up at the end of February. Mid-March is the peak of toad migration. They started too early.”

“That makes the toad vulnerable.”

Still, Plonie thinks that the peak of toad migration has yet to begin. “We already had a hundred last week. In total we helped 450 toads cross. There will be many more.”

But why do those toads actually need to be helped to cross? Don’t they have legs of their own?

“Because we as humans have built a road straight through their habitat. They are now moving from their winter home to the water and then have to cross this road. That’s a problem because toads walk very slowly and they tend to sit still on the road, which is often relatively warmer. That makes the toad vulnerable.”

A path sits quietly on the Rederijklaan.  The toad survived the approaching car in the background.
A path sits quietly on the Rederijklaan. The toad survived the approaching car in the background.


The toad migration has started again, so they cross safely