It is that time of year again when local populations of endangered Western Leopard Toad (Sclerophrys pantherina) start making their way from their foraging areas in suburban gardens to their respective breeding ponds around Cape Town.

“Residents should please keep an eye out for the awareness campaign posters that are being placed along the various roads where most of the migration movement takes place. The posters mark the areas where motorists should be most vigilant to avoid killing these charismatic amphibians, particularly on rainy nights,” said the City’s Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt.

The awareness campaign is coordinated through the Western Leopard Toad Conservation Committee which is a group representing the City of Cape Town, SANBI, CapeNature, and SANParks, as well as area coordinators who are mainly Capetonians managing volunteer activities within a particular geographical area.

“The volunteers taking part in these activities brave wind, rain and cold, and often speeding motorists as well, to ensure our toads migrate safely to their breeding ponds. I want to thank these volunteers for contributing to the toads’ safe passage,” said Nieuwoudt.

Most of the toads are killed while crossing our busy roads, all Capetonians should spare a thought for our small amphibious neighbours and drive carefully being mindful of their presence. The migration usually lasts only for a week or so and the continued survival of this threatened species depends on our consideration, and with responsible behaviour, we can each make a difference.

For more information regarding the Endangered Western Leopard Toad and to see how you can contribute, please visit www.leopardtoad.co.za. The website also provides guidance on how to make gardens toad-friendly, and how a simple garden pond could also become a breeding space for this endangered species.

The following links also provide useful information:

www.youtube.be/J9IPfizD8T4 – a welcome video made by volunteers, introducing Cape Town residents to active Western Leopard Toad volunteering

www.inaturalist.org/projects/wlt-monitoring – the iNaturalist link showing Western Leopard Toad monitoring being done during the breeding season, and how residents can contribute

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.