Thousands of toadlets covered the front and back lawns of Joyce Schouten’s Langley home on Monday. Schouten said it was the biggest migration she’s ever seen. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: A torrent of toadlets through Langley yard

Flood of immature amphibians covers patio and lawn

The front yard of Joyce Schouten’s Langley home was almost completely covered Monday morning in what appeared to be toadlets, tiny, immature amphibians, probably from the nearby lagoon that serves as breeding habitat for the Western toad.

“The patio was just black,” Schouten said.

“It was covered.”

Schouten awoke to see her Husky-German-Shepherd cross Sharla sitting morosely on the patio, surrounded by the fingernail-sized light green and grey creatures swarming through her property.

“It didn’t seem to bother her, but I don’t think she likes it,” Schouten said.

It is not the first time her home in the 1700 block of 197A Street has experienced a larger-than-normal influx.

“It was about 15 years ago (when the last big visitation occurred), but I figure there were more this time.”

Schouten’s granddaughter Ashley Schouten said the tiny toadlets are regular visitors, but not in such large numbers.

“Last year, you’d see 10 around,” she said, “nothing compared to this.”

Ashley was using a broom to keep the tiny visitors from getting in whenever the door was opened.

Ashley’s 14-month-old son Grayson didn’t seem bothered by the visitors, but he seemed a bit frustrated because he was being kept off the front lawn where he usually plays.

By the middle of the morning, the flow of crawling and hopping critters had begun to ease but it resumed the next day.

The Schoutens’ house is just across the street from a former gravel pit that houses a small lagoon that is a breeding site for the Western toad, a vulnerable “blue-listed” species of amphibian.

The A Rocha environmental stewardship group has lobbied the Township of Langley for measures to limit development around the wetland areas that could threaten the already vulnerable Western toad population.

The group believes the former gravel pit near 18 Avenue and 196 Street is the only confirmed Western Toad breeding site in the Campbell River watershed.

A Rocha and the Little Campbell River Watershed Society have recommended turning the site, which is currently split between six private properties, into parkland.

A Rocha suggests keeping large rural lot sizes around the lagoon, to “retain and re-establish” native vegetation, encourage continued monitoring of the toad population and water quality and work with Metro Vancouver and neighbouring Surrey to protect wetlands and migration corridors.

In Oregon, a similar strategy was successfully used to help a struggling population of Western toads rebound.

An online summary posted by the BC Conservation Data Centre says while Western toad have a large range in B.C., populations have declined in some areas.

“The cause of these declines remains unclear; breeding sites/populations may be rare and relatively isolated, toads may not adjust well to rural and urban development, and the species may be particularly susceptible to disease,” the centre said.

The primary threat to the majority of Western Toads in B.C. is said to be “habitat degradation and loss” especially in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island where populations have fallen.

Recent surveys suggest that the toads have declined in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, while stable in the rest of B.C. “Rapid declines of populations in parts of the U.S. have been observed in the past decade.”

 

Thousands of toadlets covered the front and back lawns of Joyce Schouten’s Langley home on Monday. Schouten said it was the biggest migration she’s ever seen. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Thousands of toadlets migrated through Joyce Schouten’s Langley property on Monday. Video online at langleytimes.com. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

Newton bingo hall to close after April 21

Gateway Casinos ‘working to transition its employees from the Newton facility to other Gateway properties in the region’

‘Significant waitlists’ for early French Immersion programs in Surrey

District struggling to find specialist teachers for French Immersion, Fine Arts and Montessori programs

Surrey MP apologizes for inviting criminal to Trudeau reception

Posing for photos with controversial people has been a bane for politicians

White Rock ‘demoviction’ complaint heard at RTB

Decision expected to be made next week

‘Anti-gym’ for baby boomers opens in Surrey today

Expanding Surrey-born company is brainchild of city’s 2017 Business Person of the Year, Sara Hodson

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

Most Read