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WHAT TO DO IF I FIND A WESTERN LEOPARD TOAD...


...in my shoe?

...in the house?

...in my dogs water bowl?

...in my toilet?

...in the drain?

... in my garage?

...under my washing machine?

...in my dogs mouth?

What to do if I find a Western Leopard Toad in my veggie patch?
An organic vegetable patch free of pesticides creates perfect habitat for toads and other small vertebrates. It provides a constant food supply (crickets, snails, worms) for your toad in areas which may otherwise lack sufficient prey itemsand it is generally damp which mimics the toads’ natural habitat.
If you find your toad in your veggie patch, leave him there as he is keeping your invertebrate pests under control and giving you the gift of biodiversity!

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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What to do if I find a Western Leopard Toad in the swimming pool?

Swimming pools can account for large amounts of many animals, including Western Leopard Toads, drowning unnecessarily.
Short term: Carefully remove your toad from the pool with a swimming pool net, rinse it in fresh water and place it in a safe area of your garden (under a bush, pile of rocks, retainer blocks, vegetable patch). Place a piece of polystyrene in your weir, a rock on the step and check your pool daily especially after rain. A strip of mesh may be placed over the weir to prevent toads from getting sucked down the weir.

Long term: If you are building a new pool, choose an animal friendly pool such as a beach pool or a raised pool.



If you have a pool already, install a Toadsaver in your pool so that your toads can get out immediately reducing the harmful effects of chlorine and unnecessary deaths of numerous animals! Call Suzie on 082 4761016 for help if you get stuck!

Click here to learn how easy it is to install a toad saver.A video clip is also available from the http://www.toadnuts.co.za/ website, video clip is called “How to install your own Toadsaver”. Once you install your saver, Your toad will now be able to exit freely reducing chlorine absorption and swimming pool drownings! Well done!! For other frogs, place a large rock on a step, they can't climb up the Toadsaver like the toads do! (Toads can walk and hop, frogs can only hop!)

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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On the road at night?
Toads are nocturnal and come out to forage at night, sometimes crossing a road which can be devastating. They are mostly seen on the roads during the August migration to and from the breeding ponds where they can migrate up to 2 kms in search of the nearest water body.

Look out for the toad road signs warning you of toads at night in your area.

During August drive slowly on these roads and watch out for small reflective white stones on the road (The toad’s throat is white and that’s all you see at night reflecting from your car lights).

Put your hazards on, stop on the side of the road, have a reflector jacket handy in your car as drivers can’t see you at night even with a torch, when the road is clear remove the toad from the road and place it into the bushes in the direction that it was going.  
Don’t take them to the breeding pond as that may not be where they are going, rather put them in a safe area close to where you found them in the direction that they are going.
It is important not to move the toad any distance as they can be disorientated and may spend more valuable time trying to find their way. Contact your local volunteer group if you would like to volunteer in your area.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Dead on the road?
At least the death of this toad will contribute to science and we will have a better understanding of how many toads are dying due to road kill which will help our volunteers keep high road kill areas safe.
If you are able to; bag it and keep in the deepfreeze, with a date, GPS or address found and your contact details. Then contact your local representative to pick up the frozen carcass to pass on to SANBI for analysis.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Injured on the side of the road?
This toad was hit by a car as you can see a secretion of toxin produced by a toad in distress.. We monitored the toad and after 10 minutes he started walking again, we then released it in a safe place in the direction that he was going.
If your toad is not badly injured with an open cut wound, it’s better to leave the toad in a safe place near to where you found it.
We did witness a toad with a damaged leg at the breeding pond, still managing to join in on the breeding season.
If you find a toad which is badly injured and still alive, note down the exact place that you found the toad, keep it in a cardboard box at outside temperatures (not in the sun), don’t warm it up as this will increase it’s metabolism, contact your local toad representative.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In a storm water gutter?
Toads and other small vertebrates often get stuck in obstacles such as storm water gutters, if you find one, carefully remove the toad from the gutter and place it into the bushes in the direction that it was going. 
Don’t take them to the breeding pond as that may not be where they are going, rather put them in a safe area close to where you found them in the direction that they are going.
It is important not to move the toad as they can be disorientated and may spend more valuable time trying to find their way.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Encourage your local road works department to safeguard your local gutters.

In my pond?
If you are a pond owner with Western Leopard Toads breeding in your pond, please be sure to contact the relevant toad representative in your area.
It is important that we know of as many breeding ponds as possible to better safeguard our migrating toads.
Be sure to note the date that your toads start calling, when eggs are laid and when the toadlets emerge from the pond.
Be sure to look after your pond by removing all alien ducks and fish in your ecosystem which can cause a micro extinction of endangered toads and many other frog species that rely on your pond for survival.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In amplexus?
It is an amazing privilege to witness toads in amplexus. If they are in immediate danger (e.g. in a road) it’s it best to move them out of harms way carefully and leave the pair alone to carry on with their journey to the breeding pond.

The female doesn’t like to be picked up as she’s holding valuable cargo, she may give off a ‘let me go’ call, just handle the pair carefully and place them out of danger in the direction that they were going.
Don’t take them to the breeding pond as that may not be where they are going, rather put them in a safe area close to where you found them in the direction that they are going.
It is important not to move the toad as they can be disorientated and may spend more valuable time trying to find their way.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In my shoe?
Toads being nocturnal, seek out dark, hard places which will protect them from predators such as birds and snakes and keep them cool and moist. You may want to check for toads first if you leave your shoes outside. If you have old shoes you can scatter them around your garden under the bushes to provide your toad with a nice home!

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Carefully place your toad in a safe place in your garden (bush, rocks, retainer blocks, vegetable patch)

In the house?
Toads sometimes enter into houses as the dark interior appears to be like going into a crack between two rocks. Once inside they usually look for somewhere small and dark to stay. Sometimes these places become regular homes and people find that they are sharing their house with a beautiful Western Leopard Toad. This usually happens when people leave doors to the outside open for pets. However, there are many hazards in the house for a toad such as the vacuum machine, being trapped in a draw or cupboard or dehydration and starvation (if you block regular access to the outside). Be sure to close your doors at night to prevent nocturnal toads from wandering inside and getting trapped indoors. If you do have a resident toad who knows his way around your home, be sure to leave something open for easy exit such as a cat flap low to the ground or gap open in the door (1 – 2cm will do)

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In my dogs water bowl?
The reason why your toad is in the water bowl is because he is looking for a moist place.

Safeguard your dogs water bowl by inverting another water bowl underneath to prevent toads climbing in, alternatively place a rock inside your dog bowl to allow your toad to get out.

You can place alternative low water sources in your garden for your toad to choose with a rock inside to allow the toad to get out.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In my toilet
Scoop your toad out with a long thin soup ladle, wash him off with water, place him in the garden in a safe place (bush, rocks, retainer blocks, vegetable patch)

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In the drain?
Scoop your toad out of the drainpipe with a long thin ladle, alternatively place a piece of mesh down the drain for him to climb out (this won’t work for frogs as they can’t climb, only works for toads)
Place your toad in the garden in a safe place (bush, rocks, retainer blocks, vegetable patch)
If your toad has found a home in your drain area and detergent is actively dripping onto the toad, use biodegradable products and check out http://www.biowashball.co.za/ for a wonderful detergent free product!

Alternatively glue a piece of mesh half way down the drain area allowing the toad to still live there but protecting it from the detergent outlet, be sure to close up any gaps in the mesh as they can slip through a gap as small as 1cm! Cover it with a rock or cement slab to protect your toad from predators.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In my garage?
Leave him there, I have a toad living in my garage in a pile of newspaper, he goes out to forage at night through gap down the side of the garage door. Toads can squeeze themselves through gaps as small as 1cm so as long as there is a gap to serve as an entrance/exit point, he has probably made a cool, dry, safe home in your garage safe from predators and rain. Be sure to check your driveway when you drive on rainy nights especially in August!

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Under my washing machine?
Toad’s often seek out cool, damp areas away from predators such as snakes and birds.
Toads can squeeze themselves through gaps as small as 1- 2cm.
As long as there is a gap to serve as an entrance/exit point, he has probably made a cool, dry, safe home under your washing machine. Your toad is perfectly happy there and should be left alone.
If detergent is actively dripping onto the toad, a biodegradable detergent is recommended or check out http://www.biowashball.co.za/ for a wonderful detergent free product!

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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In my dog's mouth?
Toads and pets don’t normally have problems but if your pet does try to kill a toad, your toad will try to save its life by releasing a small amount of toxin from the parotid gland behind each eye which means ‘let me go’.
The toxin tastes awful which repels most predators and it is unlikely that your pet would try again.
If you dog ingest some toxin, it may start frothing at the mouth, wash your dog’s mouth out with water or a cloth immediately before taking your pet to the vet.

Symptoms are often short lived unless your pet refuses to let the toad go resulting in too much toxin being ingested which may be fatal in extreme cases.
If necessary, place a few hiding places such as a pile of wood or retainer blocks for your toad on the far end of the garden. Toads are nocturnal so easily avoided.
For more information visit pets & vets.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Underneath the trampoline?
Any ditch can be a death trap for many small animals, you can place a piece of mesh, few old tyres, sandbags, or raise the soil area to create an exit point out of your ditch.

Take a photo of your toad and follow this link to contribute to citizen science by uploading your toad.

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Website design and hosting donated by Julie Anderson of J Productions
Information compiled by Suzi Jirachareonkul, 2009.