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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 12:55 GMT
Extra time for amorous amphibians
Great crested newt (picture: Powys Council)
Great crested newts are an endangered species
Frisky frogs, toads and newts are being given an extra week to find love in Powys this year.

A road near Llandrindod Wells lake will be shut overnight for three weeks instead of two so more amorous amphibians can cross in safety to mate.

Up to 2,000 creatures, including the endangered great crested newt, hit the highway every spring, with some helped across in buckets by conservationists.

They said in previous years a road sweeper had swept up some amphibians.

Julian Jones of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust said: "We approached the council to ask them to extend the road closure and they were more than happy to help - we're very pleased."

"In other years we've been almost urging the toads to cross in the days leading up to the road reopening.

"It's hard to predict the weather conditions and that's important for the amphibians because they need three consecutive nights when the temperature does not drop below 7C (44.6F)."

Toad (library picture)
Up to 2,000 amphibians cross the road each year

But Mr Jones said the trust wanted to remind the council to cancel a road sweeper this year.

"In previous years amphibians who haven't been able to make it across the road during the night have been swept up by the road sweeper," he added.

Powys Council's biodiversity officer Emma Durward said Llandrindod Wells lake was an "important habitat for amphibians".

"Five out of the six species found in Wales cross this road each spring to breed in the lake.

"This includes the great crested newt, which is now protected by law because its numbers have declined so dramatically in recent years."

The road will be closed from 2000 GMT - 0600 GMT from 15 March until 5 April.



SEE ALSO
Cold weather deters frisky toads
07 Apr 06 |  Mid Wales
Road closed to help mating toads
17 Mar 06 |  Mid Wales
Toad road effort 'saves hundreds'
13 Apr 05 |  Mid Wales
Road closure helps toads to mate
27 Mar 05 |  Mid Wales
Plea for toad town's mating route
05 Apr 04 |  Mid Wales

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