THOUSANDS of amphibians in Scotland may be saved from a “slow and lingering” death as a result of specially designed toad ladders being set up in roadside drains.
Gulley pots used in drainage systems act as trapping pits for small creatures such as frogs and toads, with their sheer sides preventing the animals from escaping.
But now a small group of amphibian enthusiasts is rolling out a new scheme to give the animals a leg up. Members of Friends of Angus Herpetofauna (FAH) have secured permission from Angus Council to trial 37 custom-built ladders at problem sites identified in the county – 25 in an area north of Dundee and a further 12 in Carnoustie.
It’s thought roadside drains and roadkill account for the majority of avoidable deaths of amphibians, and FAH members hope the new ladders could help save huge numbers of the creatures every year.
“Hundreds of thousands of amphibians die a slow, lingering death in gulley pots every year in the UK,” said FAH founder Trevor Rose.
“If the ladders are proved to be a successful solution, they could be fitted to gulley pots everywhere and provide amphibians with a fighting chance of escape, helping to halt the decline in their ever-falling numbers.”