Officials Close Busy Road In Estonia So Frogs And Toads Can Safely Cross

It’s all too often that environmental tragedies happen by human hands, whether that be through deforestation, pollution, or lack of government policy or intervention to protect at-risk areas or animals.

Thankfully, there are people and organizations working hard to combat the effects of climate change and the environmental havoc wreaked by humans.

One such group works tirelessly in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Each spring, thousands of frogs and toads travel to their breeding grounds, which entails taking a perilous journey across a busy road.

Photo: flickr/John Spooner

In past years, volunteers have carried the frogs and toads across the road to safety.

According to The Times, they’ve saved around 15,000 frogs and toads per year by carrying them across the road and preventing them from being run over by cars.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Hindu Times reported that Kristel Saarm, an Estonian National Fund volunteer, explained, “The frogs were here before the road. Now the ponds where they breed are on one side of the road and their wintering place is on the other. So they are forced to cross.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer help is less plausible this year. But rather than stand by and allow the frogs and toads to be killed by the thousands, officials decided to close the road entirely each night in April.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

But with the coronavirus pandemic making such help impossible this year, road closures are the only lifeline for the amphibians. City official Oleg Siljanov said to The Times, “the purpose of the restriction is to ensure a safe migration route for protected amphibians from wintering places to breeding ponds.”

As a long-term solution, the city is considering building a tunnel under the roads so the fros and toads could cross that way and avoid being in the pathway of cars. Another alternative they’re exploring is building a pond on the side of the road where the amphibians stay over winter so they don’t have to make the trek across the road at all.

It’s great to see a city showing so much care and attention to its wildlife!

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