Thursday, June 14, 2007

Best Laid Plans, Mice, Men, & Toads

A cute idea that failed to take into account the toad’s perspective, but who would know the toad’s perspective?

Toads in Davis wouldn't hop to it
They apparently shunned tunnel built for them in '95.
By Bill Lindelof - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, June 14, 2007

Science has gotten in the way of feel-good mythology about the famous Davis Toad Tunnel.

"No record occurs of the tunnel ever being used by a toad," said John McNerney, Davis wildlife resource specialist. "It was well- intentioned but not successful."
The toad tunnel, installed a dozen years ago this summer under a new overcrossing ramp, was intended to prevent the amphibians from being squished by cars.

Apparently, the toads never used the tunnel enough, if at all, and the population of toads that once hopped around the area has died out.

City officials through the years have questioned whether the toads actually ever used the tunnel. McNerney this week confirmed those suspicions.

The last couple of years, he surveyed for toad larvae -- tadpoles -- in the toad's drainage pond. The results were not good.

"I have not found any Western toad larva in the pond," McNerney said.