With winter behind them and warm summer rains moving through, baby common toads (Bufo bufo) are beginning the migration to woodland habitats across Europe. It's quite a spectacle for the locals, as the toads emerge en masse, travelling in their hundreds, even thousands, across streets and highways. 

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Image: Rüttger Schrörs/Facebook

A single common toad lays between 1,500 and 5,000 eggs per brood – a must when only a tiny portion of your offspring make it to adulthood. Life for a toad is dangerous from the get-go. As tadpoles, many will fall prey to diving beetles and other aquatic predators. But life on land isn't much safer: birds and other animals will scoop up hundreds during the migration. Lurking predators aside, increasing development and an ever-growing number of humans encroaching on their habitat have brought an even bigger problem for the tiny toadlets to contend with: cars. 

Amphibians make up 60-80 percent of the wildlife casualties on roads in Europe each year, and experts warn drivers to be especially careful on wet nights, as the toad stampedes are more likely to move after rains. 

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Image: Rüttger Schrörs/Facbook
Frog 3-2015-6-22
Image: Rüttger Schrörs/Facebook

Common toads are certainly cosmopolitan enough to live up to their name – they have an extremely wide range. These particular photos come to us from Germany, but a similar scene is reportedly unfolding in Switzerland, and just last week thousands of common toads hit the streets in China! 

Top header image: Federico Crovetto/used with permission