The Western Leopard Toad migration and buffer zone is under threat by the Houmoed road proposal in Noordhoek.
About our cause
Since 2007, ToadNUTs has successfully rescued, recorded and photographed thousands of toads in the South Peninsula. We have trained and mentored over 100 volunteers. ToadNUTs has gathered comprehensive data to contribute to citizen science and has had the full support of NEAG (Noordhoek Environmental Action Group) and WLTCC (Western Leopard Toad Conservation Committee) for the past ten years, and EWT (Endangered Wildlife Trust) for the past five years.
The Western Leopard Toad is a flagship species and is seen as an indicator of biodiversity. ToadNUTs mission is to protect biodiversity by taking measures to safeguard the western leopard toad which will in turn safeguard other biodiversity.
Western leopard toads occur only in the Cape Southern Suburbs and on the Cape Peninsula and Stanford in a small pocket. The Western Leopard Toad breeding ponds and buffer zones are vitally important to their survival and it is extremely important that they are preserved to ensure the survival of this endangered species.
Please consider becoming a volunteer. You too can become part of a community that cares even about the small things. Please contact the following people if you’d like to volunteer:
Suzie J’Kul: 082-476-1016
Alison Faraday: 082-771-6232
Western Leopard Toads are listed in the IUCN database as “Endangered in the Wild”. This means that, if you have a toad in your garden, you should feel privileged that it has chosen your garden. Here’s what to do:
- Drain: Make sure that the toad is not trapped and can get out of the drain. You can do this by creating a kind of ladder into the drain with some shade cloth, or rocks that the toad can clamber up. However, the toad may have decided that the drain is his home. If you are sure that he can get out and can’t be harmed there, leave him be.
- Pool: If you have a toad in your pool, it is likely that she got in to hydrate (toads ‘drink’ through their skin), but now she can’t get out. Place some rocks on your top pool step so that she can clamber out to safety. Leave those rocks in place so that no toads or frogs drown.
- Garden: As long as your toad is in no danger, leave him be. He has chosen your garden to live in and will continue to return to your garden after the winter migration. Enjoy the privilege of having an endangered species in your garden!
Remove the road off the road in the direction it was facing, but only WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. Do not endanger your life on our roads.
- The incidents of dogs attacking toads and being poisoned are very rare indeed. Dogs and toads can live harmoniously on the same property, especially if the dogs are brought in at night, when toads are moving around your garden to feed.
- Train your dogs to avoid toads. Take your dog around your garden at night and if you spot a toad, let your dog sniff it but, if it shows an interest in mouthing the toad, tell you dog firmly: “No!”
- Toads have poison glands on their heads called parotid glands. When a toad feels highly threatened, it will secrete a milky liquid from these glands to warn off any predator. (The only toads we have seen over the years with poison are those who have been knocked over on the road and are dying.) Toads do not secrete their poison easily.
- If your dog sniffs a toad, it will be fine.
- Toads are dry-land animals and only require ponds for breeding and hydration purposes. During the summer months, they aestivate by digging a hole in your garden and waiting out the hot summer months. When autumn arrives, they begin to prepare for the breeding migration by feeding and fattening up for the journey.
- Toads need deep flower beds – preferably with fynbos – to shelter in during the day. If the soil is damp and shady all the better. At night, the toad will come out onto your lawn to hunt, and may even hunt under your lights for moths and other bugs.
- Make sure that your swimming pool is toad friendly by placing a rock on the top step to prevent drownings.
- Place low containers of water near known toad burrows so that they can hydrate during the summer months.
- Keep a compost heap. The critters attracted to the composting process will be delicious food for your toad.
- During the winter breeding migration months (July – September) our volunteers patrol the roads of Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek and Clovelly to rescue toads off the roads and to and record data.
- We will provide you with training and safety gear for visibility.
- You can choose the number and frequency of your patrol times.
- Please consider becoming a volunteer. You too can become part of a community that cares even about the small things.