Caution – frogs crossing!

One day, the little frog woke up. He looked out of his insulating winter bed of dry leaves, somewhere in his winter habitat in the forest. Finally it is starting to get warmer! And such a nice rain! 

So the frog decided to start his long journey to the lake in which he was growing up. On the way he found a nice mate and because the female was so in love, she offered him to carry him to the lake. After some time they came to a big, grey plain. “Strange”, the frog thought, and they began to cross the plain, slowly, with the heavy mate on her back – the last thing they saw where two big bright lights…

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Every spring, countless amphibians migrate from their winter habitats to the waters in which they lived as tadpoles, they mate and lay their eggs in the shallow water. Many of them have to cross roads which we build in their way – up to 80% of the local population doesn’t survive this attempt.

In the Gacka region, close to Velebit, we have this problem too. In our neighbor village Švica are a lake and a pond. On the way to the lake, the amphibians have to cross the mainroad, which connects Otočac with the villages Kuterevo and Krasno.

In the first two warmer days we already counted around 70 dead amphibians on that area. As it spring is coming now, more and more animals will start to migrate.

Already last year Milo and Daniel, two french EVS volunteers started a project to help them, called „Dobra Žaba“ – good frog. They were working with a team of volunteers of the local high school in Otočac. They informed the people about the problem and built up toad fences to catch the animals and to carry them over the road.

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This year we continue to help the frogs by informing the public and especially the neighbourhood, with warning signs and information signs and posters, as well as with a cleaning action at the pond. Also we will analyse the roadkill, to see where the most animals cross, so that we can build an effective toad fence.

In the next articles we will write some more about amphibians and their important role in the ecosystem.

If you also want to help the amphbians, drive carefully when it’s raining and you are near waters, especially during dusk and dawn. Also your local environmental organisations are always happy to get some helping hand with building and controlling the fences.

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Because only a living frog is a good frog.

Dominik

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