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To reach the pond to reproduce, these toads have to cross a road, where they risk being run over. To protect them, they then created a “toadstool”. Brut went to Gironde.
“Winter 2017-2018, it was a morning in late January 2018, I counted 365 dead toads crushed on the road. And so I asked the curator of the reserve if we could install a device to save these beasts.“For Bernard Devaux, forestry technician at the National Forestry Office, this is how the idea of the toadstool came about. The goal: to help the toads cross the road to reach the pond where they breed. And this, without being crushed. This takes place in Hourtin, in Gironde.
“All these species that were common are disappearing”
“We have a net that is 550 meters long, so it is buried 10 cm in the ground, to prevent the toads from getting under it, and it is placed all along the forest in order to completely cover the whole lagoon, that is to say the pond where the toads come to breed. We installed a bucket every 15 meters, and looking for the exit, the animals fall into the bucket. The idea is to pick them up every morning and bring them across so they don’t get run over.”, explains Bernard Devaux.
For him, it is important to put this kind of device in place, to help this endangered species. “Over the past 25 years, we have lost 80% of toad numbers. There were so many individuals compared to this species that we said to ourselves ‘we will never be able to put this species in danger’, and then by dint of removing the wetlands, when we remove them their habitat, of course, the species is disappearing, that’s for sure. So, you add to that road crashes, pollution, global warming, finally, all these species that were common are disappearing.”