Once again traffic is being rerouted in Roxborough to make way for toadlets.
For the fifth spring volunteers are monitoring the checkpoints on Port Royal Ave. near the Schuylkill Center to make sure that baby toads make it across the road safely from old reservoir, now a toad nursery, to the woods.
"As soon as we put the barricade up, they started coming, as if they knew," Terry Cinque, a toad detour volunteer, told Newsworks.
In March and April, volunteers cleared the way for the adult toads to get to their nesting ground at the reservoir. Now the youngsters, no bigger than a dime, are making their way back to the woods
It's an arduous nighttime journey, filled with predators, but the most destructive is the car, which can crush hundreds of tiny toads at once.
Preserving the toad habitat and population in Roxborough as elsewhere is critical to their survival. A new study reported in Scientific American has found that frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians in the U.S. are dying off so quickly that they could disappear from half of their habitats in the next 20 years.
On a recent night's patrol, Cinque, a horticulture student at Temple, warned two passing teenagers to watch where they were walking.
The Abington resident told Newsworks being a toad helper was on her lifetime bucket list.
Volunteers are still needed for nights in June. You can sign up here.
To learn more about the toads check out the Schuylkill Center website.