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Action »Večna pot«

Through the project STOPJEŽ – Traffic and Animals Institute LUTRA wants to help other non-profit organizations that also work with the problem of animals in traffic. Therefore LUTRA employees joined actions, organized by Societas herpetologica slovenica – Society for the study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SHS) in frame of the project "Varstvo dvoživk na Večni poti (Protection of amphibians on Večna pot)". Amphibians are very vulnerable participants in the traffic. Due to their size they are often overlooked or simply ignored, since "collisions" with them do not cause any damage. Despite their size, amphibians present danger in traffic. Usually they migrate in large groups, which lead to high number of dead amphibians, creating a slippery roadway. This mainly occurs in early spring, when amphibians are headed from hibernation sites to breeding ponds, and in autumn, when amphibians return to their hibernation sites. In cases, when their migration routes cross roads, consequences for a local population can be catastrophic. Especially in early spring roadkills, when adults before mating are killed. With running over one female her whole potential brood dies with her.

One of such "black spots" with mass roadkill is also Večna pot under Rožnik in Ljubljana. Soon after the winter ends, in first rainy spring nights amphibians head from the surrounding forest towards the ZOO, where their breeding ponds are. On this way they cross a road that cut the forest in two parts. The road represents a problem mainly for the toads (Bufo bufo), agile frogs (Rana dalmatina) and common frogs (Rana temporaria) that overcome the greatest distances in their migration. In order to prevent roadkills SHS also this year carried out an action, which unfortunately represents only a temporary solution. Before migration starts, a temporary fence is built along the road, preventing amphibians crossing the road. Fences are then daily examined by volunteers. All amphibians are counted and live ones are carried across the road. The action ended with putting away the fence after the migration was finished. In year 2011 the whole action lasted from 12th till 30th March 2011. In this time more than 3400 animals were registered, from which more than 80 % were alive. Without the fence the mortality of amphibians in this section would be much higher.

We also joined the action in year 2012, when we helped with putting up the fence and joined some evening surveys. The fence was built on 3rd March 2012 and officially started with evening surveys on 19th March. The action was ended with removing the fence on 12th April 2012. Besides action "Večna pot" was not the only one we joined in year 2012. We spent a night (20th March 2012) on Radensko polje, when we transfered across the road in total 2264 amphibians in one evening.

Photos from all actions can be seen in the gallery.