Watch out for the toads!

March 24, 2010 4:07:14 PM PDT
The toad- mating migration near Philadelphia's Roxborough Reservoir has sprung early this year!

The migration is a mating ritual that occurs around this time every year when the toads leave the woods in the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and head to the Roxborough Reservoir to find a toad of the opposite sex.

Scientists say the rain combined with last weekend's warm temperatures could be the cause.

Volunteer toad crossing guards have stepped to make sure nothing happens to the love struck toads as they cross the street.

"We got surprised Monday and had massive migration. We counted over 600 toads that crossed," detour coordinator Lisa Levinson said.

That's the good news; the bad news is what happened before the streets could be blocked off.

"Unfortunately there were about 300 who were killed," Levinson said.

Levinson is the moving force behind the move to protect the moving toads. Two years ago, she was shocked at the road kill situation; her efforts have spawned a group with a toad detour website.

The Academy of Natural Sciences' Doug Wechler says the toad courtships will lead to lots of tiny baby toads which, this summer, will return to the woods where their parents came from. It is the circle of life

With more nights of moving toads to come, the detour group is always looking for help.

Volunteers can sign up at