A dangerous honeymoon
Frogs, toads and newts have hibernated on land, in spring they free themselves from the stiffness of the cold and thousands make their way to their spawning grounds. Especially on rainy nights, motorists near waterways have to prepare for four-legged passers-by on the road. Every spring, countless amphibians make their way to their spawning grounds: At high humidity and temperatures above 5 degrees, toads and frogs migrate all night long towards their spawning grounds. From approx. 19 pm in the evening to 7 am every year for about 5 million amphibians the honeymoon starts. On these spring hikes the animals travel between several hundred metres and several kilometres. However, many hundreds of thousands of them have to pay for their long journey with their lives: The animals are mostly on their way in masses and are often run over and killed by cars.
Every year, therefore, many helpers of the Susy Utzinger Animal Welfare Foundation collect grass frogs, toads and newts from amphibian fences late in the evening and early in the morning and bring them to their spawning grounds. Despite safety measures, many amphibians get onto the streets every year and are dependent on the behaviour of every single driver.
At the time of the amphibian hikes, each of us can simply show consideration and save countless lives without much effort:
1. Pay attention to signs: In the evening hours and during the night you should not drive on roads, which are marked with the frog warning triangle, if possible.
2 Drive slowly: Even if the animals are not directly caught by the wheels, they usually still suffer fatal injuries at speeds above 40 km/h due to the negative pressure. If a detour is not possible, please pass the affected road at a greatly reduced speed.
3. Become active: contact the responsible municipality if you have observed a hiking route that is not yet protected from traffic and numerous animals that have been run over! Report your observations and ask if any measures have already been taken.
4. Become a frog taxi: Every year in Switzerland hundreds of thousands of amphibians are carried safely across the streets by animal lovers, pupils and other hard-working helpers.