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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 09:59 GMT
Toads face death in quest to mate
Toad. Picture courtesy of FreeFoto.com
Toads can take 12 minutes to cross the road to the ponds
Thousands of toads eager to mate could be crushed by tourists' cars in a Devon resort, campaigners fear.

Every year in Croyde thousands of toads journey across Moor Lane to reach two ponds which are their mating grounds.

But cold weather means the toads are late coming out from hibernation and rescuers fear that, when they do, the tourist season will be in full swing.

In particular, they fear a nearby major holiday park on Moor Lane will bring a big influx of visitors.

Toad patrols

And this may coincide with the toads annual migration, which could see up to 1,000 toads a night crossing Moor Lane.

Tracey Berridge, of Croyde Amphibian Rescue, said: "Normally in the south west it's a lot warmer and they come out of hibernation by January.

"The toads in this part of the country should have crossed the road and mated."

Croyde Amphibian Rescue runs toad patrols to escort the toads across the road, but they will not be there all the time, so Mrs Berridge is asking motorists to watch out.

She said: "Motorists should go a lot slower and if they do see one they should help it across the road.

"Just pick it up and carry it to the side in the direction it is going."

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