It’s a volunteer position that requires walking on cold, rainy nights, but it could end up helping some Western toads and other at-risk amphibians.
Fraser Valley Conservancy is looking for people to help with nighttime surveys as part of the Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project to test the effectiveness of their toad tunnel and fencing.
The goal is reducing the number of road mortalities.
“As soon as the weather warms up, many of our frogs, toads, and salamanders will emerge from their winter brumination, which is the amphibian version of ‘hibernation’ and start their trek to their breeding pond,” said FVC biologist Sofi Hindmarch.
“If you enjoy cold walks on rainy nights and you would like to learn how to identify the different amphibians crossing the road, we could use your help.”
Volunteers will be counting all types of amphibian, both live and dead, along a stretch of Ryder Lake and Elk View Roads above Chilliwack.
“Volunteers must be prepared to walk six kilometres in cold, dark and wet conditions while searching for amphibians along the road,” according the FVC call-out.
Weather appropriate gear, including rain jacket, rain pants, boots or waterproof shoes, gloves are also required.
Surveys get underway after dark, and can take up to three hours depending on how many amphibians are out and about. They only get going during the migrations, so to handle the tricky scheduling they keep a list of volunteers, put the call out when the timing is right, and take the first people who respond.
Every year they create a contact list of FVC volunteers who’ve expressed interest in helping them with these surveys.
Want to be added to the 2019 list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org