Tartu volunteers helping 'stunned' frogs to find breeding grounds

A frog being helped by volunteers in Ihaste, Tartu.
A frog being helped by volunteers in Ihaste, Tartu. Source: ERR

Volunteers in Tartu are helping frogs cross the road to their breeding grounds and the "Frogs on the Road" campaign is encouraging people to participate.

ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported from the Ihaste district of Tartu on Tuesday and spoke to volunteers helping frogs find their way to the Emajõgi River. While the migration is now taking place, many frogs are stunned by the cold spring weather.

As this migration takes place every year, people are used to helping amphibians get to safety. This year, similar to in Tallinn, car traffic has been limited on busy roads.

"Frogs on the Road" campaign manager Henry Timusk said: "Here, in Ihaste, the best example of cooperation works is that the section of road where frog migration takes place is closed from a certain time to a certain time so the frogs can migrate calmly from their wintering place to their breeding place."

Volunteers can help remove frogs from the road in the evenings but participants are encouraged to wear a reflective vest while doing so.

Ihaste resident Lenne Rähn-Kuusik told AK: "Right now, before the peak of migration, we're just doing frog patrols, we're going along all the routes, looking at the numbers and assessing the situation. Usually, we find some frogs in the process. Yesterday we were ready to go home but my son wanted to save more frogs and the last frog he found was interestingly a very, very rare mud frog."

She added: "He was quite proud of the frog he found, he was very happy with it and for a long time we admired the frog and gently helped him to where he wanted to go."


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Editor: Helen Wright

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