The Independent on Saturday - - FRONT PAGE - Reuters ANA

A SMALL group of Bri­tish con­ser­va­tion­ists have in­stalled mesh-cov­ered ladders in road­side drains to save trapped frogs from cer­tain death.

A GROUP of Bri­tish con­ser­va­tion­ists are in­stalling mesh-cov­ered ladders in road­side drains to save trapped am­phib­ians from cer­tain death.

The War­wick­shire Am­phib­ian and Rep­tile Team – WART – hopes that by plac­ing 20 of the rust-re­sis­tant alu­minium ladders down drains near known breed­ing pools in Eng­land’s West Midlands, they can boost the dwin­dling am­phib­ian pop­u­la­tion.

“The am­phib­ians are com­ing to breed and then hit­ting the road, get­ting across the roads, hit­ting the curb, along the curb and into the drains. And then that’s it – end of story for them, game over,” said Tim Jenk­ins, a lad­der fit­ter at WART.

“By in­stalling the am­phib­ian ladders, it en­ables them to get back out of the drains and back to their breed­ing pools and do­ing what they should do and mak­ing more am­phib­ians,” Jenk­ins said.

The is­sue of trapped toads is not lim­ited to Bri­tain. A 2012 study in the Nether­lands es­ti­mated that more than half-a-mil­lion small ver­te­brates like frogs, toads and newts end up trapped in gully pots and drains each year.

WART says it’s seen a drop in the num­ber of am­phib­ian pris­on­ers since the ladders were in­stalled. |

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