FROGS IN YOUR BACKYARD
A pond is a must for attracting frogs to your home. You can make one using almost anything from wading pools to half wine barrels.
1 Some frogs like to be cramped when spawning. Others need space. Some will lay eggs in waterfilled depressions in the ground, while others climb to places with water. Small tadpoles mainly eat algae, so there’s no need to remove it from your garden.
2 A garden light will attract night insects for adult frogs. A fluorescent black light will attract beetles and moths.
3 Frogs can usually get around, over or through fences, but if none appear and impenetrable fences might be the problem, make 2cm x 5cm gaps at the bottom of your fences.
4 Place compost bins near ponds; they attract insects.
5 A bog garden retains moisture year-round to provide great habitat for many marsh-loving species. It’s a hole lined with pond liner and filled with soil or other organic matter. It can be linked to a pond and fed by a downpipe, or simply located in a damp area.
6 Shallow ponds should be in partial or full shade in summer.
7 Avoid using too many floating plants such as duckweed, because they deprive the water of oxygen and block out light important for the growth of algae.
8 Large logs and rock piles provide great hiding places for frogs.
9 If water restrictions allow, watering around your pond or dam will encourage frogs to move around. Increase leaf mulch and moistureretaining ground covers (but don’t use acidic pine-bark mulch).
10 Don’t use treated pine or other treated timbers for pond edges, because the chemicals can be harmful to frogs.
11 Ponds more than 30cm deep may need pool fences or wire mesh over them because of the drowning risk to small children.
12 Keep grass and other vegetation long and thick near your pond.
13 Avoid using fertilisers and pesticides in areas where you are encouraging frogs. Don’t let run-off that may contain manure enter the pond or dam – a low earth wall can deflect run-off.
Discover Australia’s unique frog fauna with Australian Geographic’s new A Complete Guide to Frogs of Australia (available at australiangeographic.com.au/frogbook), the Australian Museum’s FrogID app, and the stunning wall poster free in this issue of AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC.