There is growing concern throughout the world about the decline in the numbers of frogs. Some scientists believe that this decline in the frog population confirms that all is not well with the environment. You and your backyard can play a role in reversing this trend by creating an environment that is frog friendly.
We have several species of frogs both ground and tree frogs that are native to our area. It is easy to tell the difference between a ground frog and tree frog species simply by looking at their feet. Ground frogs have little fingers on their feet, whilst tree frogs have feet that look like suction caps.
Most frogs and especially those found in our area like to be near water. Although they do not actually spend that much time in the water itself, it is essential for them to breed in. Frogs like ponds that have a lot of tall water plants around them such as Iris and Rush or Frog grass. If you look closely, they are often found at the base of these plants or even under the edging of the pond. A frog pond need not be a huge body of water, small prefabricated ponds and even a half wine barrel water feature with plenty of cover and plants is enough to attract a frog to your garden.
If you have a pond, ensure that you have a pump re-circulating the water as this provides ample oxygen in the water for frogs and any fish that you have in the pond. Frogs are very sensitive to chemicals so if you are topping your pond up with town water treat it with a dechlorinator to remove the chlorine and chloramines from it first.
When creating a frog pond, people often ask for fish that will not eat frog eggs. Unfortunately, all fish given the chance will eat frog eggs, but some can certainly eat a lot more then others. The fish that eat the least amount of eggs are small native species such as Smelts and Murray River Rainbows. Remember, frogs can lay hundreds, even thousands of eggs so you will nearly always get some tadpoles from a spawn. You can tell when your frogs have spawned as there will be a frothy layer with small black dots in it around your water garden.
After spending all that time and money on creating a frog friendly environment people often ask me where they can purchase frogs for their pond from. I once saw a movie where the lead character was encouraged to build a baseball field on his farm but was worried that no one would use it. His friend said, “build it and they will come”. If you create the right environment for frogs in your yard they will come. In fact you should never collect frogs from an area outside of your yard and place them straight in the pond as this risks spreading disease to those already living in the area. Be patient and they will come.
© weknowwatergardens 2019