Trail Hoppers – Western Toad

In 2023 we launched a new initiative at Minnekhada Regional Park called “Trail Hoppers”

The Trail Hoppers initiative focusses on our amphibian populations at Minnekhada Regional Park, with the initial focus on Western Toads. If you are a regular visitor to Minnekhada you will have undoubtedly noticed the massive numbers of tiny toadlets on the trails in early to mid-summer. We all do our best to avoid stepping on them but every years a large number unfortunately become unintended casualties.

Western Toads life cycle requires that adults return every year to the marsh to lay and fertilize eggs. These eggs develop into tadpoles by the tens of thousands and once the tadpoles have developed into toadlets they start moving back towards the forest, where a number of them will reach adulthood and repeat the cycle.









We are attempting to better understand the timing and volumes of these migrations as well as the human impacts on the toads by walking the trails and counting toadlets and toads. This data can then hopefully be used to support measures at the park that will reduce human caused fatalities.

UPDATE: Data is now compiled and is being populated into a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) tool that will allow us to visualize the toadlet counts from last year. Stay tuned for more info on that.

2024 Plans

In 2024 we plan to focus on better understanding the overall cycle, particularly the adult toad migrations down to the marsh and their egg laying patterns in spring and early summer. More info on that coming soon!


More info

Western Toad Monitoring Project

Nature Guide

Volunteer Page

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