Lucky frogs

John Green, Regional Representative for the Wildlife and Environment Society (Western Cape membership), Tokai

The article on toads in the Bulletin on July 28 was a timely reminder of how privileged we are still to be able to live in the lowlands of Constantia-berg with the remnants of the natural environ-ment which sustains us.

A lead article in the prestigious journal, Environment Yale (September 2010) entitled “Urban Ecolo-gy”, stated: “A few years ago, for the first time in our history as a species, Homo sapiens became a predominantly urban species… So what does it mean to become an urban species? And how should it change the way we think about the forest (nature) in the city?”

Another article stated that less than five percent of people in the world would ever see a frog: let alone in their backyard.

The annual “explosion” of breeding Leopard toads in upper Tokai, between Forest Glade and Steenberg Golf Estate, should change the way we think.

After Glenn Raper of Steenberg Golf Estate gave the alert that the toads had started their “snoring”, the toad watch team sprang into action on Monday night, August 1.

Hanniki Pieterse, leader of the team, reports: “Yes so we had movement last night on Tokai Road. We picked up 80 to 90 in less than two hours but three dead before we got there: a further nine were killed by cars driving at the speed of lightning, endangering all of us. Not helping at all is the construction going on. All the rubble lying around, holes and ditches that were dug and not filled or removed makes it an obstacle course, not only for the toads, but for us as well.”

We, who have the privilege of living in the remnant of the natural environment which sustains us, certainly need to change the way we think, plan and act.