The lakes and wetlands in the forests surrounding Cumberland support breeding populations of Western Toads. Every summer countless tiny toads take part in an EPIC migration.
The Western Toad is federally listed as Species of Special Conservation Concern because they are especially sensitive to human activities, climate change, and other changes in the environment.
A single toad lays up to 16,500 eggs which quickly develop into masses of swarming tadpoles. After a few weeks, a hormone in the tadpole’s thyroid gland initiates metamorphosis which turns the tadpoles into toads! It’s a remarkable transformation. Once they’ve fully formed into tiny toadlets, they leave the water en masse (each toad smaller than a dime) and cross busy trails in the Cumberland trail network.
99% of toadlets won’t survive to reach adulthood.
CCFS works with community partners like UROC and Village of Cumberland to help make people aware of this migration so they can avoid the ‘hot spots’ and less toads get crushed beneath feet and tires.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Volunteer for the toad patrol and join our crew of friendly trailhead volunteers who provide info re: toadlet whereabouts and alternate routes. We’d love your help! You can join our field team and go explore local water bodies for tadpoles and tiny toadlets or you an join the community info trailhead information tent. Message firstname.lastname@example.org or fill our your volunteer application HERE
June 22: Western Toad Patrol Meet Up
7 pm Doors open for “Toad People” at the Museum. Show starts at 7:10, runs for about an hour with some time for discussion after.
As the egg to tadpole to toadlet lifecycle unfolds we will keep you informed as to when to expect to join the Toad Patrol info booth or other ways to help spread awareness. The tricky part is their readiness to migrate into the forest is dependent on temperature so we can’t be sure exactly when this will happen. The migration could start anytime between July 1 and 31s and last for a few weeks
Please join us in supporting this important species as they make their inaugural journey to their terrestrial homes.