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VOLUNTEER GROUPS AND MONITORING

Today, the majority the distribution of the Western Leopard Toad falls under residential suburbs and agriculture, making monitoring complicated. Since the expansion and transformation of the City of Cape Town, the majority of toads have moved into residential gardens and live behind the secure walls of private properties. As a result the fate of these toads lies largely within the control and actions of the urban landowner.
Every year from around the end of July until early September, residents of these toad inhabited areas gather their torches and coats to brace the winter chill and rescue their native dwellers as it is during this period when annual breeding takes place.
The map shows all the known suburbs where Western Leopard Toads live or forage. Breeding does not occur in all, but Western Leopard Toads may live up to five kilometers from their breeding sites. Therefore they may well occur in suburbs not highlighted here, so if you know of one in an area not indicated here, we would like to know! Contact the WLT Hotline 082 516 3602


click to enlarge

The need for volunteers is extensive as breeding sites are numerous and scattered. The follow list indicates what areas of assistance we are looking for:

Breeding season night patrols for census & monitoring (jump)
Toadlet emergence monitoring (jump)
Scouters (jump)
Popular Article Writing (jump)
Design and Advertising (jump)
Sponsorship (jump)

Breeding season night patrols for census and monitoring
Volunteers are needed to assist in night patrols across the suburbs highlighted in the map below. The chief tasks of these helpers would be the moving of toads across roads, to prevent roadkills by motorists. Data is to be recorded of each toad, including a GPS waypoint of the location, a clear photograph of the dorsal or back of the toad from an aerial view, a measurement of the length of each individual and the weight of each toad.  

These volunteers are asked to bring the following:
Torch
Raincoat
Closed shoes or boots for wet weather
Clipboard, observation sheet and road kill data slip
download the "Observation sheet" PDF and the "road kill data slip" PDF
Ruler and pencil
GPS (Optional)
Camera (Optional)
A small scale to record the weight of the toad (Optional)
Reflector jacket or stickers (Optional)

Breeding movement around each site may occur from two days up to two weeks. Thus if residents are looking to assist in one area alone, the period of monitoring would be brief. Volunteers interested in assisting in surrounding suburbs as well can expect to be busy for a longer space of time of perhaps as long as a month.
A roster is drawn up for each suburb, therefore depending on the number of volunteers per suburb, individuals would be grouped into teams working every second, third or fourth day.

Please contact one of the following people for your area:

Please contact the WLT Hotline on 082 516 3602 or one of the following people for your area:

Area

Name

Contact Details

Muizenberg (incl. Frogmore Estate, Kirstenhof, Lakeside & Marina Da Gama)

Susan Wishart

083 441 4740
khaye@learntoearn.co.za

Tokai (incl. Blue Route, Constantia, Nova Constantia, Steenberg, Sweet Valley, Westlake & Zwaanswyk)

Hanniki Pieterse

Frenske Otzen

084 262 6633
yellow.pieterse@gmail.com
084 264 6633
frenske@cape-photography.co.za

Grassy Park (incl. Lotus River, Phillipi & Zeekoeivlei) and Bergvliet (Die Oog, incl. Meadowridge, Plumstead & Retreat)

Mark Day

084 738 1130
leopardtoad@gmail.com

Observatory (incl. Ottery & Pinelands)

Helene Louw

072 236 6146
intouch@absamail.co.za

Hout Bay

Yvonne Kamp

083 402 8541
yvonne.kamp@gmail.com

SPOTS (incl. Capri, Clovelly, Fish Hoek, Glencairn, Kommetjie, & Sun Valley,

Alison Faraday

082 771 6232
alison@leopardstone.co.za

Noordhoek

Suzie Jirchareonkul

082 476 1016
www.toadnuts.co.za


Toadlet emergence monitoring
Equally important as the adult toads of the breeding season, toadlets are the product of those spawning toads and efforts of the volunteers to get them there alive. Unlike the breeding movement of the adult toads in winter, toadlets disperse typically in the morning in mass, searching for foraging habitat or gardens which to call home. Volunteers who are preferably local residents, are asked to assist in the collecting and moving of these tiny critters over roads.
 Since the toadlets disperse all at once from each site, volunteers are required for only one day for a few hours. This is a fun activity and learning experience for the whole family, so if you would like to bring your children along that would be great! Please see the above table for the relevant contact details.

Scouters
If you are unable to help us on the roads, you are most welcome to be a scout. Scouts play an imperative role in this operation, because they alert us to when the toads start moving and we in turn mobilize teams to do the patrolling.  
This role would require volunteers to monitor the streets from their homes and perhaps even take a drive through the roads to check if there is any first sign of toads moving in the streets. This activity would commence from the end of July until early September, during which time each site can be active for up to two weeks.
Your kind assistance would also be welcome in the spring season, when the toadlets emerge and disperse from the breeding sites. The time period for this is from the end of November until early January.
For more information please call the WLT Hotline on 082 516 3602.

Popular Article Writing
If you have a knack with words, you could assist us in writing popular articles for magazines, local newspapers and various other publications. This function is needed throughout the year, but especially in the months leading up to and during the breeding season (May-September) and then before, during and after the toadlets emergence season (November-Febuary).
Three categories of article types can be discerned:

The species plight and general
These would exclude the subjects of the breeding season and toadlet emergence.
Examples of article topics are indicated as follows: The importance of Western Leopard Toads and the benefits of their presence in your garden; Wise-use gardening; Western Leopard Toads and similar or other frogs/toads in the distribution; What to do with an injured toad; predators and invasive species - how you can help?; Installing a toad saver; Creating a vegetable patch; Creating your own recycling heap.

Breeding season
Examples of article topics are indicated as follows: Call for volunteers; Be alert on the roads while driving; sponsor monitoring resources; Submit a photo of your toad.

Toadlet emergence
Examples of article topics are indicated as follows: How to attract toadlets to your garden; Securing the livelihood of toadlets in your garden; Volunteer to assist emerging toadlets at breeding sites; Installing a toad saver.

* All articles written are to go via the Western Leopard Toad Conservation Committee for the checking of factual information. For more information please call the WLT Hotline on 082 516 3602.

Design and Advertising
If you have experience in this field, you are welcome to contact us to discuss how you could assist!
We are looking for illustration to compliment articles and be used in awareness drives and on temporary signage.
For more information please call the WLT Hotline on 082 516 3602.

Sponsorship
If you would like to contribute sponsorship please contact the Hotline on 082 516 3602.

Website design and hosting donated by Julie Anderson of J Productions
Information originally compiled by Marc Day, May 2009.