We must work together to protect endangered toads

Judy Spiller, Tokai

It was inspiring to read about the “Wasteland to Westlake Wetlands” event. (“Celebrating World Wetlands Day in Westlake,” Bulletin, February 19).

There are many endangered western leopard toads living in the area behind the Blue Route Mall, and it is distressing to see the amount of litter that lands up in the river behind the mall. In particular, the area around the wooden bridge adjacent to the greenbelt.

Over the years, local residents have tried to address this problem to no avail. Without the support of the big retail businesses and their respective staff as well as the management team of the mall itself, nothing will change, and this important part of our ecosystem will continue to be impacted.

• Bronwyn Rabie, marketing manager at Blue Route Mall responds: We acknowledge the concern raised about litter on the greenbelt behind the Blue Route Mall and agree that it is something that must receive ongoing attention not only because the litter is unsightly but also because we are very cognizant of our local leopard toads in the surrounding area.

The greenbelt is public open space and is enjoyed by many, and whilst it is the responsibility of the council to keep clean, the mall does include the areas adjacent to our site in our daily cleaning schedule with our cleaning contractor and waste yard staff cleaning the gutters, bins etc.

Our maintenance team also fish out plastic from the stream. Unfortunately with the high winds, litter from around the site and neighbourhood can collect here. We acknowledge that the mall contributes hence us cleaning the area as part of our routines.

We have also placed several green bins on the verge to encourage all that use this area to dispose of their refuse neatly.

We have recently refreshed signage on our side with regards to treating this space with respect and addressed noise and litter herein. We will address all our tenants once again on the importance of compliance.