Zandvlei Trust

Have you helped save a toad today? by Suzie Jirachareomkul

(Extract article from the volume 2008/2 Newsletter)

Make and install your own Toadsaver.

Between late July and early September the endangered Western Leopard Toads move to and from their breeding ponds often getting trapped in obstacles along the way such as swimming pools, drains, or becoming a target for road kills.

This year we aim to prepare as much of their hazardous path as possible to give these amazing creatures the best chance of surviving the breeding season.

Wehave found that the toads can climb out of swimming pools if there is some shade cloth stuck on the side of it. A longer piece , 3m is recommended because a small toad will struggle to find a small strip of shade cloth in a big pool.

We would like to express our gratitude to Alnet who has kindly sponsored 50m of shade cloth - as well as Permoseal (Pty) Ltd for Bostik products who have kindly donated a box of Bostik Marine silicone sealant to help safeguard the swimming pools that surround the Leopard Toad's remaining breeding ponds.

To make and install your own Toadsaver; Choose a warm, sunny day for this and make sure the tiles are clean and dry. Cut a piece of shade cloth 3m wide and long enough to dip just below the surface of the water line in the pool. Place a strip of Bostik sealant onto the clean dry pool tiles ensuring all edges are glued to prevent toads climbing inside the mesh.

Any glue or shade cloth donations or installations queries,

Call Suzie on 082 476 1016 or email 

photograph by Suzie Jirachareomkul

A juvenile Leopard toad finding the dge of the shade cloth and climbing up.

photographs by Suzie Jirachareomkul

Half way up.....                                                      Almost there......

Another great saving idea.

Food for thought.

photograph by Suzie Jirachareomkul

My 8m2 veggie patch is home to 10 toadlets in a choice of a half an acre. There are plenty of insects for them to eat, it's cool from the watering so they don't frizzle up and they protect the veggies from being eaten!
Another winner is a compost heap (have a patch where you throw your fruit and vegatable matter), not only is this great for our landfills and our atmosphere, it's a wonderful opportunity to attract biodiversity to your garden. Some toads got stuck down our trampoline hole, we threw a few vegetable scraps and within a week the toads were well fed and in fact one of them had a bug in it's mouth as we lifted him out! 

Can you imagine if every land owner had a small veggie patch and/or a small compost pile, imagine how far we could get to sustaining biodiversity!!

Call Suzie on 082 476 1016 or email 


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