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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 March, 2004, 14:32 GMT
Warning over toad road 'carnage'
Mating toads
The toads like to lay their eggs at the nature reserve
More than 200 mating toads have been killed crossing a Herefordshire road.

Local wildlife experts have counted 204 dead toads, killed as they attempted to reach Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve, near Leominster.

The amorous amphibians started their perilous journey on 15 March when their spawning season began.

A team working to protect toads in the county is asking drivers to slow down on minor roads in the area to prevent what they describe as "carnage".

Herefordshire Council said the problem was happening because the lane into the nature reserve from Dinmore Hill runs parallel to the wood where many of the toads hibernate.

The creatures, which the authority said were becoming increasingly rare, are trying to reach the lake to lay their eggs.

Toads 'sidetracked'

The Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team (Hart) has put up signs to warn motorists about the danger to toads in what is a joint effort with the council.

Hart's Will Watson said: "When the toads come out of the wood and reach the road many of them get sidetracked and stay on the road as it is an excellent place to hunt the insects on which they feed.

"On these minor roads I would urge people to take extra care at night time and look out for toads.

"You need to slow down to see them and avoid them.

"If people took more care then we could reduce this carnage."

Tim Green, a countryside ranger with Herefordshire Council, said: "It may be possible to reduce the impact on the toad population at Bodenham Lake in future years by constructing new places for them to hibernate closer to their breeding ground."


SEE ALSO:
Randy toads halt traffic
09 Feb 04  |  Somerset
Frisky toads saved by volunteers
08 May 03  |  Somerset
Mating toads get road signs
07 Mar 03  |  England


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