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Nice weather for ducks … and crapauds

13 November 2019

​This October saw the second highest levels of rainfall since records began with over 40.6mm of rain falling overnight on 30 October. This ongoing spate of heavy rain is encouraging crapauds, or western toads to come out of hibernation to enjoy the wet conditions.

According Jersey Met, rain continues to be a feature of the forecast for the foreseeable future and Natural Environment are urging motorists to take care when driving during this time, particularly on wet nights when the toads could be vulnerable to road traffic.

Tim Liddiard, Senior Natural Environment Officer, said: “The toads are loving this heavy rainfall and the warm, damp environment, it brings. Despite the time of year, they are emerging from their hiding places in compost heaps and gardens and are wandering onto the roads. 

“We are asking motorists to be extra vigilant especially in the Ouaisne and Grands Vaux areas and the stretch along the Five Mile Road in St Ouen’s bay.
“Each female toad is capable of laying up to 400 eggs, so every toad lost to traffic has a massive impact on the amphibian population.”

Jersey provides a suitable habitat for three species of amphibian and one of the rarest is the agile frog or Rana dalmatina.  While the agile frog is widespread throughout Europe, Jersey is the only place in the British Isles where this species can be found. The Agile Frog has been the focus for a successful conservation project between the Government of Jersey, Jersey Amphibian & Reptile Group and Jersey Zoo during which time its numbers have risen from about 10 to over 100.

Both the western toad and the agile frog are protected by the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000, but no offence is committed if you help them safely across the roads.

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