Visitors heading to Lost Lake Park will notice tens of thousands of tiny Western “toadlets” migrating from the shores of Lost Lake into the surrounding forest. Almost all of the toads have now emerged from the lake, and are making their way through the wetland and across beach areas to nearby forests.
To help protect this species during its most vulnerable life stage, the Resort Municipality of Whistler will be closing portions of Lost Lake Park for the duration of the migration.
Closures in effect August 1
Beginning today, the Lost Lake Park beach and surrounding lawn areas are closed until further notice, due to high volumes of toadlets moving through this area.
The Lost Lake Park access road and parking lot have been closed to all vehicle traffic. Visitors are encouraged to walk or bike into Lost Lake Park to view the migration, and learn more about Western Toads from on-site naturalists.
The Whistler Transit Lost Lake Shuttle will not be running until the beach area and Lost Lake access road reopens.
Food trucks scheduled for Lost Lake Park have been cancelled until further notice. Food trucks services are available at Lakeside Park and Rainbow Park. View the food truck schedule.
The Lost Lake Loop trail, dog beach and docks remain open and can be accessed via the Lost Lake Park access road by foot or bicycle. Visitors to Lost Lake Park are asked to step carefully and walk bicycles into the park, as toadlets are no bigger than the size of a dime and can be easily crushed under foot.
For more information and updates visit www.whistler.ca/toads.
About Whistler’s biomonitoring program and Western Toads
The RMOW operates a biomonitoring program focusing on indicator species, meaning species which can be studied to provide insight on the greater health of the ecosystem. Lost Lake’s Western Toad population has been monitored as part of this study for the past 11 years.
Eight years ago the RMOW began installing permanent and temporary measures, including specialized fencing, at Lost Lake Park to help protect this population. Protection measures are largely focused on tadpole and toadlet life stages, during which the population is most vulnerable.
Last year a record of 41 breeding Western Toad pairs were observed in Lost Lake. Each female can lay up to 50,000 eggs resulting in the emergence of hundreds of thousands of tadpoles, which quickly group together forming large black clouds along the shoreline of Lost Lake. By July and August tadpoles have metamorphosed into tiny toadlets and are ready for the great migration from lake to forest. This migration can often appear as a moving carpet, as tens of thousands of dime-sized toadlets make their way across Lost Lake Park.