Spring toad hunters wanted in Lancaster County

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Volunteers of all ages are needed to save migrating toads this week and all month. Local nature groups, including Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary, Lancaster Herpetological Society and Habitat MT are concerned with the American Toad population that migrates across busy Lancaster roads every April on warm, rainy nights.

The toads live all around the Overlook Park campus in Manheim Township, Lancaster County but keep a very low profile May through March. In April, however, on warm rainy nights, they move by the hundreds to gather in wetlands throughout Overlook Park to sing, flirt, and lay eggs. Each female can lay thousands of eggs, if she isn’t flattened crossing Granite Run Drive or Golf Drive, the main roads that cut through the park.

No experience is needed to volunteer. Volunteers of all ages are asked to show up at the park around dusk on warm, wet nights in April and stay up past their bedtimes.

Please park in any Overlook parking lot and LOOK OUT FOR TOADS as you drive in and out of the park. Volunteers simply enjoy the long walking paths that run adjacent to the park roads, seeking out crossing toads to escort across the roads before they’re flattened by passing vehicles. Some volunteers walk on their own, or with a date, or with their family and friends. Other volunteers make new friends and form a bigger walking group.

Volunteers should wear bright or reflective clothing if possible, carry flashlights, and stay out of ponds or wetlands to avoid spreading germs in sensitive habitat and squashing amphibian eggs. When toads are spotted near roadways, just help them cross in the direction they’re going.

To receive an email reminder when weather conditions look best for major toad movement, potential volunteers can email info@lancasterherp.org to be added to the Toad Watch Alert email list.Information provided by Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary.

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