Frogs, toads and newts have spent the winter on land, and in spring they break free from the torpor of the cold and thousands of them make their way to their spawning grounds. Particularly on rainy nights, drivers near the water must be prepared for four-legged passers-by on the road. Every spring, countless amphibians set off on a hike to their spawning grounds: With high humidity and temperatures of 5 degrees and more, toads and frogs migrate all night long towards their spawning grounds. Every year from about 7 pm in the evening until 7 am, around 5 million amphibians start their honeymoon. On these spring migrations the animals cover distances 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 usually on the move in masses and are often run over and killed by cars in masses.
Every year, many helpers of the Susy Utzinger Animal Welfare Foundation therefore have to collect grass frogs, common toads and newts from amphibian fences late in the evening and early in the morning and take them to their spawning grounds. Despite safety measures, many amphibians end up on the roads every year and are dependent on the behaviour of every single driver.
At the time of the amphibian migrations, each of us can easily show consideration and save countless lives without much effort:
1. Pay attention to road signs: In the evening hours and during the night you should avoid roads marked with the famous frog warning triangle.
2. drive slowly: Even if the animals are not directly caught by the wheels, you will usually still suffer fatal injuries at speeds above 40 km/h due to the negative pressure. So if no bypass is possible, you will pass the affected road at a much 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 whether measures have already been taken.
4. become a frog taxi: Every year hundreds of thousands of amphibians are carried safely across the roads in Switzerland by animal lovers, schoolchildren and other hard-working helpers