Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Roxborough Reservoir toads: No longer horny?

Some nights there seemed to be more human toad watchers than toads, but it turns out that more than 600 hoppers made their way safely across the treacherous roads in Upper Roxborough during the annual toad migration this year.

Roxborough Reservoir toads: No longer horny?

Earth to Philly's special Toad Migration Correspondent Laurie Conrad checks in:

Some nights there seemed to be more human toad watchers than toads, but it turns out that more than 600 hoppers made their way safely across the treacherous roads in Upper Roxborough during the annual toad migration this year.

From late March through the early weeks of April, lumpy, brown American toads and greenish Pickerel frogs emerge from the wooded hillsides above the Schuylkill River and head toward the old Roxborough Reservoir. No longer in use, the stone-walled reservoir has become a wetlands. Amphibians born there return every year to mate.

About 100 volunteers were on call to blockade roadways around the reservoir and create a safe passage for the critters. "Toads are on the move" was the rallying cry.

The largest migration, about 200 toads, happened on April 6, according to project coordinator Lisa Levinson. She began the toad migration project last year after seeing how traffic on Port Royal, Hagys Mill and Eva streets was devastating amphibian populations during their crucial mating season.

The metallic trill of toad voices now hums inside the reservoir. They'll mate over the next few weeks, then gradually disburse to the woods and back yards where they spend most of the year. About five weeks after that, little toadlets will emerge.

The Toad Detour Committee includes local citizens and officials from various agencies:  Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE), Mobilization For Animals Pennsylvania, Fairmount Park, Applied Ecological Services, Upper Roxborough Civic Association, Residents of Shawmont Valley Association, Philadelphia Police Department 5th District, Philadelphia Streets Department.

To volunteer, contact Lisa Levinson at 215-620-2130 or lisa@publiceyephilly.org.

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Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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