Whistler's annual great Western Toad Migration has begun 

Watch your step at Lost Lake Park as tens of thousands of tiny toads journey to the surrounding forest

click to enlarge The tiny Western Toads have begun their annual migration from Whistler's Lost Lake to the park's surrounding forest. File photo by Claire Ryan
  • The tiny Western Toads have begun their annual migration from Whistler's Lost Lake to the park's surrounding forest. File photo by Claire Ryan

It's that time of year again.

The tiny toads are back, and that means a few big changes at Lost Lake Park.

Tens of thousands of tiny toadlets have begun the annual great Western Toad Migration, which sees them travel from the shores of Lost Lake into the surrounding forest.

Because Western Toads are both a "species of special concern" and can be very sensitive to changes in their environment, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) takes a series of precautions to help protect the vulnerable creatures, which may include closing portions of Lost Lake Park during the migration, the municipality said in a release.

Visitors and residents are encouraged to make their way to Lost Lake to see the migration for themselves and learn about the tiny toads from on-site naturalists. However, the municipality is warning park visitors to watch their step and walk their bikes: since the toadlets are "no bigger than the size of a dime," they can be easily crushed by feet or wheels.

Tadpole and toadlet fans are also reminded to look, but don't touch, since the toads' sensitive skin can easily be damaged by soaps, salts, oils and sunscreen found on our hands.

The park access road, Lost Lake beach and beach lawn are currently open and "will remain open for as long as possible," but may be closed if high volumes of toadlets begin making their way through. For more information, head to whistler.ca/toads.

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