Posts Tagged Frogger

Frog Tunnels

Posted by on Monday, 10 January, 2011

In the game Frogger, the player has to guide a frog across a dangerous freeway, avoiding various types of cars so that the frog can escape safely. Traffic is a problem for frogs in the real world, so frog tunnels were created. One of the most famous frog and toad tunnels is the Toad Tunnel in the city of Davis, California, famous for its university and its bike trails.

Toad Tunnel includes its own decorations. According to Widget Works, the Davis post office donated some swampland on the other side of the toad tunnel. Volunteers built some structures for the toads, probably inspired by the Mr. Toad stories, including a bar, a hotel, and even an outhouse.

The toads don’t seem to like the tunnel. The California Planning and Development Report states that Davis city officials never saw a toad actually use the tunnel. Heat and lack of humidity can be an issue because toads may not want to enter a metal tunnel, especially when temperatures are high. Heat wasn’t a problem in Frogger, but it can kill toads in a long tunnel. Plastic tunnels are more friendly to frogs and toads, and a tunnel with a dirt or mud floor is more attractive.

The Davis toad tunnel was built in 1996. An 1988 project, in Amherst, Massachusetts, that helped salamanders cross a road was more successful. The Amherst project includes drift fences to orient the salamanders toward the tunnels, which might be helpful on the Davis project, although it increases costs. Vents on the tunnels allow some rainwater to fall inside them, but redirect strong floods, keeping the salamanders hydrated and cool.

There are frog tunnels in many countries. RIA Novosti reports that Belarus has built frog tunnels in two locations, the Berinsky Biosphere Reserve and the Belovezhskaya Pushka Natural Park, to prevent frogs from being killed by highway traffic. A frog tunnel in New Zealand creates a safe passage for the frogs of West Auckland.