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The great amphibian migration is approaching


Summer's first warmth stimulates the beginning of amphibious migrations. Their trip from the places that they winter in to their spawning grounds can be very dangerous, especially when they have to cross roads. Frogs travel along traditional paths, so every year certain areas experience quite a high concentration of them. These areas have the highest road amphibian fatality numbers.

The first attempts to install protective amphibian barriers were made a quarter of a century ago in the Kaišiadoriai region. Later, protected territory managers began installing these protective measures.

According to Varnių regional park director Irena Zimblienė, the first braided frog barrier was installed along road 160 (Telšiai – Laukuva) in 2000 near the Stervo nature reserve. In two years, the braided barrier was overgrown with grass and had begun to rot, so new barriers are now being made out of pressed paper. In 2008, the Lithuanian Road Administration responded to the Varnių regional park management's request and installed a netted barrier to protect wildlife and a lower barrier to protect migrating frogs. They are fairly effective, but in problematic areas, the park's management erects its own barriers.

New reinforced concrete installations (horizontal troughs) are being planned this year. The will be installed at the edge of the road and will pass through culverts underneath the asphalt. These are being installed together with the Lithuanian Road Administration.

None of these barriers work without the help of people. Once all of the frogs have hopped into their collecting ditches, they must be collected and carried to bodies of water. Amphibious migrations occur during the first two months of spring, so any active protective measures in place during this time can save many valuable animals' lives.

The Varnių regional park management should serve as an example to everyone to help protect amphibians during their spawning period.

Public Information Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas