Frog march

Spring is really in the air in Austria – quite literally. Hundreds of frogs are on the hop and are likely to be clearly visible on the country’s streets and roads as they wake up from their winter sleep and head off to water to breed.

The annual migration to ponds causes problems for motorists despite massive investment by local councils to try and direct the frogs to use tunnels under the roads by building miniature walls and barriers.

In other areas the frogs are collected by driving them towards buckets kept in the ground and then manually carried to the nearby pond.

Harald Groß, a spokesman for the Environment Department the MA 22 said numbers were likely to be so large that it would probably be even better if motorists did not use their cars at all in certain areas – although he accepted this was probably impractical for many people.

He said the frogs, toads and other amphibians would all start to be waking up as soon as the temperatures reached about 10 degrees as now.

Groß added: “Especially the male animals have such an enormous hormonal driven desire to get to water that they will try and jump over anything and areas they might normally avoid such as a road surface covered in other dead frogs is suddenly no longer terrifying for them.

The frogs are in danger again at the end of April when they head back to the feeding grounds having spent time breeding and laying eggs in the ponds and small streams.