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A Philadelphia Nature Center Helps Mating Toads Avoid Croaking

By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, in the Roxborough section of the city, is taking over the “Toad Detour,” a volunteer effort to protect the critters trying to cross a road on their quest for romance.

Q:  Why did the toad cross the road?
A:  To get to the reservoir so it can mate.

But when a car and a toad meet on the road, it’s the car that wins.  So, an effort was born to detour traffic from Hagys Mill Road and Port Royal Avenue on the warm, rainy March nights when toad romance blooms.

But the woman behind the project is relocating, so Mike Weilbacher of the Schuylkill Center says  it was only natural that his organization take over.

“It made perfect sense for us, because we’re the beneficiaries,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “They come out of our forest, and they come back to our forest.”

Click to listen to the interview.

Why go to all that trouble for toads?

“Toads are one of the small creatures who hold up ecosystems,” Weilbacher explains, “so one of the great benefits of toads is that adults eat thousands of mosquitoes.”

And seeing thousands of toads cross the road is impressive, he adds.

“One of the Roxborough residents calls this the ‘Serengeti of Philadelphia.’ ”


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