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.