If you are out and about this month in the Cape peninsular beware of a cold and rainy night as the endangered endemic Leopard toad will be coming out to mate.

A usually sedate creature it survives in the gardens and fynbos of the region but, for 10 days a year they become frenzied mating machines. Males and females will travel long distances to breeding ponds and in the process they become the target of predators and cars. If you travel on the roads in the cape peninsular this month you will see many signs asking road users to be aware of toads crossing roads. The toads can move up to 5km from their place of residence to find a breeding site and a mate. They have to cross roads, homes and building sites to get there.

Fortunately, every year volunteers step up to help save the toads (which become an indicator species for our biodiversity). These volunteers do toad patrols at night helping the toads who are distracted by their hormones to cross the roads, control traffic and save the next generation of Western Leopard Toads.

Thanks for reading

Illona Cross, Tanzania

Author: Illona Cross