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Squamish nature watch: Tiny Western toads migrate over popular trails

Squamish locals urged to avoid certain trails as mass toad migration endangers tiny amphibians’ journey from Garibaldi Springs.

Watch where you walk and ride on some local trails, folks, as the annual mass toad migration has begun.

The Squamish Environment Society (SES) is extending its yearly plea to locals and visitors to be aware, as thousands of tiny western toadlets are travelling, en masse, from their breeding pond at Garibaldi Springs up into the forests of the Garibaldi Highlands.

During this migration, which will last up to two weeks.

"They are so numerous, tiny, and camouflaged that it is impossible to use these trails without crushing them. The toadlets are also easily startled, causing them to waste crucial energy trying to flee," said the SES’s Alison Wald, in an email to The Newisu.

"We are unable to post physical signs on most of the private property they travel through. So, please help us get the word out to those you know who use these trails. If you do see signs, please stay off those trails," she added.

Wald said beyond caring about the toads because they are cute, people should care because Western toads are under threat from habitat loss and climate change.

"That Squamish can support such a large and thriving population is an indication of a healthy, diverse ecosystem. We are lucky to experience this migration and to have so many trails to use: please choose others during this brief period," she said.

To report toadlet sightings, email: [email protected]

*Please note this story has been updated to remove the map.