Car detour lets toads cross road without croaking

Jun 12, 2014 by Kathy Matheson
A baby toad sits along side a road, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. A humid and rainy summer night makes for quite a rush hour in Philadelphia as thousands of baby toads try to hop across a busy street. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It's rush hour in Philadelphia for thousands of baby toads as they hop across a busy residential street on a rainy summer night.

Why do toadlets cross the road? To get to woods on the other side. It's their annual migration through dense vegetation from an abandoned reservoir where they were born.

To help the tiny amphibians survive the trip, volunteers each year set up the Toad Detour. The roadblock reroutes cars so the animals—each about the size of a raisin—can cross the two-lane street safely.

The detour also goes up during mating season. Each spring, adult travel from the woods to their at the reservoir.

About six weeks later, their make the journey in reverse.

A baby toad is shown, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. A humid and rainy summer night makes for quite a rush hour in Philadelphia as thousands of baby toads try to hop across a busy street. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A baby toad sits on a road, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. A humid and rainy summer night makes for quite a rush hour in Philadelphia as thousands of baby toads try to hop across a busy street. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A baby toad sits along side a road, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. A humid and rainy summer night makes for quite a rush hour in Philadelphia as thousands of baby toads try to hop across a busy street. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Explore further: Call put out to eradicate invasive toad from Madagascar before it wreaks environmental damage

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