Best time to travel to Germany

Toad Migration in Germany

Have you ever noticed a traffic sign with a frog on it?

Best time: March–April

Toad Migration

The explanation is simple: German toads, who are awakened in the dark woods by mild weather, start their travelling season to the closest lakes and ponds to lay their eggs. Female toads can travel 5 km to a lake carrying up to ten potential husbands on their back.

The long-distance night migration is perfect for toads during rainy weather and temperatures around 7°C.

But their journey to the beach is quite dangerous because of the frequent road crossing. Critical road sections are usually interspersed with barriers and fences during migration periods to prevent toads from being run over. Conservationists even put buckets every few meters along the barrier to collect little travellers and to rescue them from unsafe crossing. Twice a day the buckets are usually emptied on the other side of the road.

Practical info

When is the toad migration season in Germany?

From March to April, when mild weather and rainy conditions are prevalent, toads migrate from their wintering sites in forests to reach nearby ponds and lakes. Traffic signs featuring a toad emblem may appear on roads where migration occurs, and interventions such as fencing and barrier erection are used to prevent road accidents involving toads. Show more

Where can one find the toad migration in Germany?

Toads migrate all over Germany, but it is most prominent around the roads near the forest where they hibernate. The journey is long and perilous, and some areas may have traffic signs showing a toad crossing. In Lower Saxony and Bremen particularly, the residents volunteer actively to aid the migration by preventing toads from crossing roads. Show more

What distance can a female toad cover to hatch eggs during migration, and how many males can it carry?

Female toads can carry several males on their backs and travel a distance of up to 5 km to lay their eggs in nearby lakes or ponds. After fertilizing the eggs, the female deposits them. Unlike other amphibian species that lay eggs at a single location, female toads can carry ten males or more, and these males fertilize as many eggs as possible during the breeding season. Show more

How do authorities protect toads while crossing roads?

During the migration, toads face numerous hazards, with road accidents being the most critical. To mitigate this situation, volunteers administer various interventions such as checking roadside buckets for trapped toads, manning migration-prone areas and erecting barriers that ensure the toads stay off the roads after hibernation. These measures prevent road accidents that may occur during the migration. Show more

What is the typical temperature during the toad migration season in Germany?

Toads migrate during the mild weather and rainy conditions of spring, with the typical temperature in Germany during the migration season standing at about 7°C. During this time, the change in temperature triggers the toads' emergence from their winter hibernation sites in the forests, and their ability to migrate effectively depends on the weather conditions and temperature. Show more

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