WATCH: The fate of frogs is a growing concern this year on Vancouver Island. Kylie Stanton tells us what’s killing them — and what they hope to do about it.
Many amphibians on Vancouver Island have not been surviving their migratory trek in recent weeks, ending up as roadkill on roads around Saanich.
Jill Robinson of Habitat Acquisition Trust says conservationists found as many as “84 frogs on one road in one night.”
Pacific Tree frogs are just one of the species currently on the move from their winter habitat to breed in the wetlands. Areas where the road separates the forest from the pond have proved to be the most dangerous.
“We’re looking at trying to find hot spots for road kills and trying to find out how big a problem it really is,” says biologist Christian Engelstoft.
Data are being gathered by biologists and volunteers to identify those hot spots and, hopefully, find a solution.
“That could be creating tunnels that will direct amphibians–frogs and salamanders–towards areas underneath the roads,” said Robinson.
It wouldn’t be the first time. When the Sea to Sky Highway was rebuilt for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the government spent a small fortune building 11 tunnels to help protect the red-legged frog.
But a tunnel is not a sure thing.
“For example, tree frogs are very difficult to funnel because they are really good climbers,” said Engelstoft. “They will climb over and around most things.”
The more frogs that do manage to survive, the better it will be for the entire ecosystem.
-with files from Kylie Stanton