Frogs, toads and newts have hibernated on land, come out of their torpor in spring and set off in their thousands for their spawning grounds. Especially on rainy nights, motorists near bodies of water must be prepared for four-legged passersby on the road.
Every spring, countless amphibians make the trek to their spawning grounds: With high humidity and temperatures starting at 5 degrees, toads and frogs migrate throughout the night towards their spawning grounds.
From about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every year, around 5 million amphibians begin their honeymoon. On these spring migrations, the animals cover distances ranging from several hundred meters to several kilometers. However, many hundreds of thousands of them have to pay for their great journey with their lives: The animals are usually on the move in masses and are often also run over and killed by cars.
Every year, many helpers of the Susy Utzinger Animal Welfare Foundation have to 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 caught on the roads every year, where they depend on the behavior of each and every motorist.
Each of us can easily show consideration at the time of amphibian migration and save countless lives without much effort:
1. pay attention to signs: In the evening hours and during the night, avoid driving on roads marked with the famous frog warning triangle, if possible.
2. drive slowly: Even if the animals are not directly hit by the wheels, if you drive faster than 40 km/h, you will still usually suffer fatal injuries due to the negative pressure. So if no bypass is possible, pass the affected road at a greatly reduced speed.
3. become active: contact the responsible municipality if you have observed a migration route that is not yet protected from traffic and numerous animals that have been run over! Report your observations and ask whether measures are already planned.
4. become a frog cab: every year hundreds of thousands of amphibians are carried safely across the roads in Switzerland by animal lovers, students and other hard-working helpers.