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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK
Cold weather deters frisky toads
Toad in road sign
This year about 600 amorous toads were helped in one night
Cold weather is dampening the ardour of hundreds of frisky toads in Powys during the mating season, say experts.

Radnorshire Wildlife Trust said about 500 fewer amorous amphibians had taken advantage of an overnight road closure near a lake in Llandrindod Wells.

It had been temporarily shut so breeding toads could search for love without being squashed by drivers.

About 1,500 were helped across the road compared to around 2,000 last year. The mating season ends later this month.

Wildlife trust workers carried the toads in buckets during the 15 days the road was closed.

The closure has become an annual occurrence.

Julian Jones of the trust in Llandrindod Wells, said 30 March proved the busiest night when 600 toads were assisted. The lakeside road reopened on 3 April.

The level of consistency triggers something in the toads
Julian Jones

Mr Jones said: "From research, we know the toads need the temperature to be seven degrees Celsius and that temperature needs to remain the same for several nights.

"The level of consistency triggers something in the toads.

"We know from research that toads and other amphibians seem sensitive to climate change."

Mr Jones speculated that cold early spring weather may have deterred the toads, although their numbers in the area would not be affected next year.

During next year's mating season ramps may be introduced to allow the toads to walk easily over the road's curb stones.

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