Gerry Schreiber of the Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sound and Dennis Hetu of the Toquaht First Nation stand next to a new educational sign designed to make visitors aware of baby western toads at Cadillac Lake. (Photo - Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sound)

Partnership helps protect baby toads from being trampled near Ucluelet

Tiny western toadlets are emerging from Cadillac Lake and making their way to the forest.

The Toquaht First Nation has partnered with the Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sound to protect baby toads from being trampled at an abandoned mine site that’s become a popular recreation destination.

Armed with funding from B.C.’s Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the partners have installed barriers and educational signage around Cadillac Lake, where tiny western toadlets, roughly the size of a fingernail, are emerging and making their way to the forest.

“It’s interesting because they blasted this big, deep, iron ore mine and when they abandoned it in the 1960’s it then became this beautiful little lake…It’s a neat habitat. It’s, kind of, unusual for us to protect what was an iron ore site but, on the other hand, lots of mines get reclaimed into beautiful wetlands,” said Barb Beasley of the Wetland Stewards for Clayoquot and Barkley Sound.

Western toads are considered a species at risk in Canada. Cadillac Lake is believed to be one of just six active western toad breeding habitats on the West Coast and one of only 30 on Vancouver Island, according to Beasley.

She said Cadillac Lake is a popular recreational spot for visitors, who pose a significant threat to the emerging toadlets in July and August.

“The toadlets will fill the entire area once they’ve all emerged. People need to be really careful where they’re stepping and going,” Beasley said. “We still want people to be able to stop there, have a picnic and go for a swim, but we don’t want people to trample the toads.”

She said all dogs must be leashed in the area to avoid disrupting the toadlets and that humans must also leave the tiny amphibians alone.

“We know that there have been incidences where kids have brought them back in buckets and then tried to release them or played with them,” she said. “Leave them in the wild.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

West Coast builder earns four VIBE awards

Icon Developments owner Jamie Carson says collaboration is key.

Ucluelet dedicates off-leash dog park

“I think it’s great. Dogs need a space to run.”

Ucluelet artists launch pop-up art exhibition

Heyduck & Butler opened on July 1 and will run until August 31.

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Tofino and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation release joint statement welcoming ‘respectful’ tourists

“We have adapted to the new landscape and are very eager to welcome you back.”

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read