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Learn how to build a frog haven in your backyard

Wildlife Animals Article taken from The Biscuit magazine Posted Mar 31, 2020
When attracting frogs to your garden, there’s three simple things to remember: keep it cool, moist and protected.

Frogs have thin, slimy skin that is super absorbent; so before setting up the perfect ecosystem, make sure you don’t use any nasty chemicals like pesticides. These can be replaced with natural fertilisers like blood and bone or compost. Download this handy factsheet and tick off how to build your own froggy haven checklist!

You can read the full article in RSPCA’s The Biscuit Magazine Issue 8.

It’s easy being green!

Despite Kermit the Frog saying ‘It’s not easy being green’, the key to achieving the perfect froggy sanctuary is lots of plants. Grasses and undergrowth not only keep the ground cooler and retain moisture, shrubs and small trees make an excellent extra layer of protection for frogs from predators. Opt for leafy foliage to give shade to the area, making sure the frogs aren’t exposed to harsh, drying sunlight. 

Once you have the plants in place for amphibians to feel at home, you need to ensure they have a constant water source. Make sure this water source is sheltered from predators, and away from where children and pets frequent. Try a water feature, pond or simply a bowl of water placed in the garden. Things like overturned pots and hollow logs work as great shelters for the water, and double as a cool, safe resting spot for frogs.

Pouncing paws

One predator to look out for may very well be a part of your family! Cats love to hunt frogs, with their spontaneous jumps catching the hunter’s eye, and unfortunately frogs aren’t the fastest creatures. It is important to keep your pet indoors, unless they are monitored or in a secure outside area.

Food sources

Now it’s time for dinner. Placing garden lights around your backyard will help attract mosquitoes, moths and other insects to the area, providing frogs with a range of easy, tasty meals right at their doorstep. Not only does it feed them, but it also means fewer mosquitos in your backyard!

Peron's Tree Frog.

Water sources

Frogs lay their eggs naturally in creeks and dams, so the best way to help is by providing a still, protected water source. Stagnant water can still pose a risk as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so one fix is to have a small water pump going through the pond. By breaking the surface of the water slightly, mosquitoes will find it difficult to land in order to breed. 

Ensure the water source slightly raised from the ground, as this will prevent toads from climbing to the water in order to breed. If this isn’t possible for you, try making a barrier around the pond — use plastic garden edging, or even some dense foliage! 

What egg is that?

If you’ve found amphibian eggs in your backyard water source, it is important to identify if they are frog or toad eggs. Frog eggs will be in clumps, spread out like a mat over the water, or clinging to rocks and vegetation in the water. They may even be encased in a foamy substance.

Toads will lay their eggs in long strings in the water, like small black pearls encased in a clear jelly-like tubing. If you’ve found toad eggs you can bury them where they have no access to moisture in order to hatch.

Frog spawn.

Hop into a Kermitted relationship

If you’ve found amphibian eggs in your backyard water source, it is important to identify if they are frog or toad eggs. Frog eggs will be in clumps, spread out like a mat over the water, or clinging to rocks and vegetation in the water. They may even be encased in a foamy substance.

Toads will lay their eggs in long strings in the water, like small black pearls encased in a clear jelly-like tubing. If you’ve found toad eggs you can bury them where they have no access to moisture in order to hatch.

Tell us below what type of frogs you’ve spotted in your yard (or toilet!) Some green tree frogs are known to hang out in showers and toilets.

Jessica McLaughlin
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