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August 5, 2020, 10:32 am

Temporary Closures at Lost Lake as Whistler Protects Migrating Western Toads

Resort Municipality of Whistler
WHISTLER - Visitors and residents heading to Lost Lake Park will notice some temporary changes over the next few weeks as tens of thousands of tiny Western “toadlets” make their annual migration from the shores of Lost Lake into the surrounding forest.

Western Toads are a species of conservation concern, meaning they are vulnerable to changes in their environment. To help protect this species during its most vulnerable life stage, the RMOW annually closes portions of Lost Lake Park during the migration.

This year 80 breeding pairs of Western Toads were observed in Lost Lake. Each female can lay up to 17,000 eggs, resulting in the emergence of tens of thousands of tadpoles, which quickly group together forming large black clouds along the shoreline of Lost Lake. Each year 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.

Beginning August 4, 2020 until the migration is finished, the Lost Lake access road and parking lot will be closed to all vehicle traffic. Visitors can walk or bike into Lost Lake Park to view the migration and learn more about Western Toads from onsite Naturalists.

During the access road closure, the free Lost Lake Shuttle will continue to run with minor changes, visitors will now be dropped off at the entrance to Lost Lake Park on Blackcomb Way. There will be no food trucks at Lost Lake Park while the access road is closed. 

At this time, the Lost Lake beach, lawn areas and docks remain open. We just ask that those visiting Lost Lake Park to step carefully and walk any bicycles through the area as “toadlets” are no bigger than the size of a dime and can be easily crushed under foot.

Please note that because of COVID-19 protocols, this year the RMOW will not allow volunteers to help move toads. Signs and gates will be set up to inform visitors where the toads are migrating and to make sure to “watch your step” and get off bicycles. 

The RMOW has also built new, permanent infrastructure this year to help the toads migrate more safely.

A toad underpass has been constructed under the Valley Trail just behind the events lawn and a toad boardwalk has been constructed under the Blackcomb Creek Bridge, at the intersection of Lost Lake Loop and Cedar Way.

These are the first of several infrastructure upgrades that are planned to be built over the next few years. They expand on the RMOW program that has been in place for the past decade at Lost Lake to help protect this population.

The RMOW’s work to protect Western Toads is part of its overall biomonitoring program focused 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 program for the past 13 years

For more information and current updates on Lost Lake closures visit:

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