Target: Volunteers at Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department
Goal: Thank volunteers for helping to protect endangered Western Leopard toads
Volunteers at Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department (ERMD) brave ice-cold temperatures and crowded roads to protect endangered Western Leopard toads. Their efforts ensure that the toads can successfully reach their breeding grounds and ensure their long-term survival.
Western Leopard toads are small, yellow amphibians with dark, irregular spots spread across their bodies. The markings are extraordinarily similar to the large cat that shares their name. The toads are indigenous only to a small area of land near Cape Town, South Africa, and have been a staple of the ecosystem around the city for generations.
However, the number of wild Western Leopard toads has been declining in recent decades. Over-population, development, and traffic have reduced their natural habitat and created a dangerous living environment. The toads have few ponds in which to live, and are often struck by vehicles while attempting to cross wide motorways. The danger to their survival is amplified each August, when the toads embark on a breeding migration, traveling several miles from their homes to local waterways in order to mate with others toads. Development has rendered this migration nearly impossible, and the Leopard toads look to be doomed.
Thankfully, there is hope for these little creatures. The volunteers at Cape Town’s ERMD spend countless hours helping Leopard toads complete their migration. The volunteers stop traffic, pick up toads off motorways, and educate Cape Town citizens on the plight of these animals. While the work is tiring and uncomfortable, it is paying off. Last August, the number if Leopard toads recorded on their yearly migration was significantly higher than in past years. With any luck, this little amphibian will make a comeback in South Africa.
These volunteers must be commended. Their hard work has helped to ensure that Western Leopard toads will not disappear anytime soon. Perhaps their efforts will inspire others to protect native plants and animals from further extinction.
Thank the volunteers of Cape Town’s ERMD for their wonderful work.
Dear ERMD Volunteers,
Thank you so much for your dedication to protect and preserve the Western Leopard toad. The long, cold nights you spend helping these creatures reach their breeding grounds ensures their long-term survival and demonstrates the good that can come from those who care.
As you know, the Leopard toad is a very endangered amphibian. Since these little animals can only live around Cape Town, South Africa, there is little possibility for them to move or adapt to a changing environment. Therefore, new housing developments and wide roads have threatened the survival of these toads, driving them to the brink of extinction.
However, your work to protect them is paying off. By helping the toads reach their breeding grounds, as well as advocating for more protected wetlands around Cape Town, you are ensuring these creatures will not, in fact, disappear forever.
Again, thank you so much.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: varietyisinournature via Flickr