In early spring, the Western Toads lay thousands of eggs in Lake Aspen next to the Sunriver Nature Center. By mid-summer, the tadpoles from those eggs have grown legs and arms, resorbed their tails, and begin to amass on the shores of the lake. Some environmental factors trigger their motivation to move and in some years, Sunriver has seen hundreds of thousands of one-inch-long toads migrating from the lake out into the meadow and forest. The toads are mostly terrestrial, unlike frogs who need to live right near a body of water, and in about three or four years, they'll be ready to lay their own eggs.
We had a very late spring this year so the toads' migration will take place a little later, probably within the next week or two. We never know when they'll move as they appear to have their own reasons. Sometimes, like last year, it's a trickle of toads where the majority of them move overnight and we miss it entirely. The migration is a fun time for families to come out with buckets and help the tiny amphibians cross the bike paths and roads, where many of them unfortunately don't make it. If you would like to be notified when the migration starts and how you can help, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anytime during the actual migration, you can come to the Nature Center to pick up instructions for transporting toads. We ask that you bring your own buckets please! We will be checking the lake at least once every two days and when we see them start to move, Last year, the migration happened essentially overnight and so we want to be on top of this year!
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