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Tough Road for The Toad: One million animals killed annually on GTA roads, conservation study says

Toronto, Ontario — Let us take a moment to pour one out for the one million woodland critters who met their demise on GTA roads over the past year, as a study conducted by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the University of Toronto finalizes 2021’s official roadkill body count.

In a compilation of more than 20 years of data from 23 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, University of Toronto undergraduate student Nicole Regimbal found that amphibians—toads, frogs, salamanders and such—are dying at a “disproportionately higher” rater than any other creature in study areas.

The American toad, green frog, grey treefrog and northern leopard frog are the most at-risk animals, according to the study.

The study suggests that due to the fact that amphibians are cold-blooded, they may be attracted to warm roads.

“Being specifically vulnerable is not something that’s specifically shocking,” Regimbal told the Toronto Sun.

“I just think we need to be aware of how we relate to the environment. I just think we should care. We are the direct cause of this. We kind of have a responsibility to do what we can to mitigate it.”

According to Regimbal, amphibians are experiencing global population decline and road mortality is one of the major contributors.

Regimbal advocates for eco-roadways; under or overpasses that allow small animals to safely cross highways.

The TRCA is one of 36 conservation authorities in the province mandated to protect natural environments. It oversees a region comprising nine watersheds and stretches from Ajax to Mississauga, and from Lake Ontario to Dufferin County.

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