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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April, 2005, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
Toad road effort 'saves hundreds'
common toad
Up to 500 amorous toads were helped in one night
Hundreds of amorous amphibians have been saved thanks to a decision to temporarily close a lakeside road to traffic, say wildlife experts.

About 2,500 toads, 400 newts and a few frogs were helped across the stretch under the cover of darkness.

Volunteers carried them in buckets to the Victorian lake in Llandrindod Wells, Powys - one of the top amphibian sites in Wales.

The road reopened after being closed for 10 days.

Conservation manager for Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Julian Jones said: "Powys County Council's decision to close the road near its headquarters has been a huge success.

"During the 10 days we helped about 2,500 toads, 400 of the three species of newt and some frogs using torches and buckets.

It's great that we were able to help so many
Julian Jones, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust

"The amphibians could get onto the road but there's a curb the other side and they couldn't get over it. Some used to but others wandered back across the road and ended up getting squashed."

Mr Jones said during the height of the toad rescue up to 500 were helped in one night. A few days after that volunteers were still assisting 200 a night.

"I've written to Powys County Council and the Environment Agency, who assisted with funding, to thank them for all their help," said Mr Jones.

"It's great that we were able to help so many at one of the top amphibian sites in Wales."

Population

Last month, Powys County Council stepped in to temporarily close the stretch of the road overnight.

The breeding season for the toads runs from mid March to early April but in the past the council has said that closing the road was not an option.

But it decided to close a 620-metre section between 2000 GMT and 0600 GMT until 3 April.

Radnorshire Wildlife Trust has estimated that the area used to have a population of toads around 10,000 strong, but it said their number had dwindled to about 3,000.

More than 200 toads had already been killed on the road this year before it was closed for the first time in March.


SEE ALSO:
Rush hour relief for breeding frogs
30 Mar 04 |  South East Wales
Warning over toad road 'carnage'
18 Mar 04 |  Hereford/Worcs
Randy toads halt traffic
09 Feb 04 |  Somerset


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