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The 2011 Breeding Season: Latest

Last updated Tues 20th Sep at 09:30.

Tues 20th Sep: It appears that for most areas the toad season is now over, the last big night being Thursday the 8th September (see diary). The data gathered for this year is quite different compared to records we have for the last four years. Previous years experienced approximately 10 busy nights on which 30-50 toads were rescued, whereas this year there were around 25 busy nights on which 10-30 toads were recorded. The low and erratic rain this winter may have had a role to play in this.


If you know of any activity not reported here, please contact your nearest Volunteer Group. This site will be updated regularly during the 2011 Breeding Season: please bookmark it if you are keen to help. Previous activities this year can be found in the 2011 Diary

Here we summarise the activities of the Volunteers in the different groups. Results are for two types of work: Rescue Work Monitoring

If your group is not here then WHY NOT? Or if you would like to see past years then look at our history.


The 2011 Breeding Season: Progress

Historically feeding activity lasts for a week to a month before breeding begins (see Bergvliet history.). The toads are actively feeding and in wet weather they feed from the roads, where snails, slugs, earthworms and other delectables are easily seen. This is also a period in which many deaths occur as most toad groups are not ready with their campaigns yet.

Theories about the toads breeding (or triggered to breed) at Full Moon or with lots of rain are thus all out of the window. The toads that have bred so far have done it in dry weather at near New Moon. Obviously we need lots more data before we can understand what makes a toad breed!


Here are the daily sightings of toads by the different groups over the breeding season so far:

Note that almost all the activity to date was with the rains on 04 August, although Fish Hoek got going a day earlier, and many Cape Flats populations did not respond at all.


Rescue

Each group consists of volunteers who patrol the streets on dark rainy nights, and even many other nights during the breeding period. The total time spent on rescuing toads is often not appreciated. Here are the man-hours spent patrolling by the different volunteer patrols to date this year:


Here are the numbers of toads saved by each patrol this year:

Note that some areas are busier than others. Our goal is to ensure that we have enough volunteers to keep down the death rates. These data also allow us to plan for the hotspots next year.


In addition to rescuing toads, volunteers usually take their photographs. This is done carefully with a ruler in a standard pose. Toads' markings are like fingerprints. This allows toads to be compared from year to year, and thus estimates of age, distance moved and population size to be calculated. For more, and to put your own garden Western Leopard Toad onto the database, please see:Upload Your Toad. For lots of toads it is better to submit a CD of photos see Guidelines for Data Collection. Here are the numbers of photographs taken by each patrol this year:


Status

Action by volunteers consists of three activities: 1) rescuing toads crossing roads; 2) collecting killed toads; and, 3) noting other toads not rescued or killed. (For our purposes, we consider injured toads to be rescued, unless we know that they have died, in which case they are "dead")).

The daily rescued/killed/noted toads for each group can be seen here.

Choose a group for the status of toads over time in an area:



BERGVLIET


CLOVELLY


CYCLE TRACK


DIE OOG


FISH HOEK


GLENCAIRN


HOUT BAY


KENILWORTH


KIRSTENHOF


KOMMETJIE


LAKESIDE


MARINA DA GAMA


MUIZENBERG


NOORDHOEK


OBSERVATORY


OTTERY


PRINCESSVLEI


STRAWBERRY LANE


SUNVALLEY


TOKAI


WHERE IS YOUR GROUP?

Overall state:

! 14% of toads encountered were dead !




Sexes

When rescuing toads volunteers collect demographic statistics. This is simply are the toads: Male, Female (in eggs {plump, on the way to breed}, without eggs {finished breeding or not breeding, often thin}, breeding state unknown), Sex unknown, Juveniles (less than 75 mm long) and Toadlets (less than 15 mm long). Toadlets are not usually seen during the breeding season, and Juveniles do not normally migrate to the breeding ponds, but are sometimes encountered. It is important to note if the Females are full of eggs and going to the ponds to breed, or if they are thin and finished breeding. As a rule Females migrate en mass to the ponds, but then sneak back home afterwards, so that most Females rescued are in egg. The categories Unknown are difficult to tell cases, beginner volunteers still finding their feet, and heavy workloads where numbers overwhelmed the volunteers. Sex statistics collected by the different volunteer groups can be found here.

Choose a group to look at the sex ratios over time for an area:



BERGVLIET


CLOVELLY


CYCLE TRACK


DIE OOG


FISH HOEK


GLENCAIRN


HOUT BAY


KENILWORTH


KIRSTENHOF


KOMMETJIE


LAKESIDE


MARINA DA GAMA


MUIZENBERG


NOORDHOEK


OBSERVATORY


OTTERY


PRINCESSVLEI


STRAWBERRY LANE


SUNVALLEY


TOKAI


WHERE IS YOUR GROUP?

Overall sex:

Too early to see any trends, but males are prominent as expected at the start of the season!



Monitoring

Monitoring involves visiting the ponds and recording breeding activity. The location of known breeding ponds is shown here.



BREEDING SITES click to enlarge


Click to see the Agulhas Sites

It is also important to note when there is no activity. Many groups are routinely visiting their ponds, monitoring when breeding begins and ends: the manhours for the different groups are shown here.


Activity over the season in the different pools is shown here.

To date we have only had calling fom Silverglades (Fish Hoek-Sun Valley).


Here is a summary of the activity to date. The map below shows the last ponds to breed during the 2010 season (outlined in blue and yellow). Those active earlier in the season are shown as red logos.



CALLING SITES click to enlarge

Eggs have not been recorded yet.


Toadlets have not been recorded yet.



Cannot find your data here?

Did you send it through to us? Please use the SUMMARY DATA FORM and email your data before 08h00 if you want it included here. See GUIDELINES FOR DATA COLLECTION on what needs to be done.

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HISTORY

Interested in what happened in previous years?

2010 Breeding Season

2010 Action

2009 Breeding Season

2008 Breeding Season

2007 Breeding Season

REGIONAL REPORTS

2008/9 Bergvliet

2004-7 Bergvliet


Cannot find your data here?

Did you send it through to us? Please use the SUMMARY DATA FORM and email your data if you want it included here. See GUIDELINES FOR DATA COLLECTION on what needs to be done.

If you know of any activity not reported here, please contact your nearest Volunteer Group. This site will be updated regularly during the 2011 Breeding Season: please bookmark it if you are keen to help.

If your group is not here then WHY NOT?

   
Website design and hosting donated by Julie Anderson of J Productions
Information compiled by Sarah-Leigh Hutchinson, July 2011