Frog and frogspawn

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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PewmousePewmouse Forumite
63 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
We recently moved house and inherited a well established garden complete with a small pond. We are 2 streets over from a nature reserve so I was very keen on attracting the local wildlife to our garden.


At the weekend we spotted that our little pond was jam packed with frogspawn and also lots of adult frogs too! The noise was terrific when I went out yesterday to check on them :) .


However a neighbours cat has killed a couple of the adults and left the bodies in the middle of the lawn :( I've covered over the pond as best I can and used lots of old small ceramic pots to make little frog hides so we can protect as many as possible. Does anyone else have frogs in the garden? Can we be doing anything else to keep them safe?


We are new to all this but I'm very keen to encourage the wildlife! I made a bug hotel yesterday afternoon using branches that fell from next doors tree in the high winds and some left over air bricks and plant pots, plus its right next to our composter so we already have lots of creepy crawlies.

Replies

  • ljonskiljonski Forumite
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    Water pistol and lemons may help!
    "if the state cannot find within itself a place for those who peacefully refuse to worship at its temples, then it’s the state that’s become extreme".Revd Dr Giles Fraser on Radio 4 2017
  • andrewf75andrewf75 Forumite
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    Make sure there is plenty of vegetation cover around the pond and that’s about all you can do really. I have similar issues with cats and wildlife and it annoys me that all the media attention is on birds, which as they can fly are really not that much affected! The impact of cats is much more on frogs, lizards, rodents etc, which are already struggling with fragmented habitats and have no escape.
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    It's a rather tragic fact that a frog's life is dominated by predation at an early age, but that's...life! A frog may lay 500 to 30,000 eggs, depending on species and habitat. Not all will hatch into tadpoles, and not all tadpoles will make it to frogs. The greatest proportion aren't taken by birds, cats, rats or whatever, but by the developing tadpoles eating the remaining eggs, then going for other tadpoles, (and then small frogs going for all the above - and each other!), often from the same hatching! It's a way of harvesting the maximum production in as short a time as possible. A bit icky, but it works.

    So, yes, offering a bit of cover, a few earthenware pots on their side if you have them, some large stones, even twigs, anything to offer a bit of protection from a passing moggie. However, some frogspawn will make it through to adulthood, and they'll lay next year.
  • balustradabalustrada Forumite
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    The cats may have caught the frogs as they were migrating to the pond. If they caught them from the pond itself, the best thing to do, if the pond's not too big, is to push twigs or sticks into the ground around its circumference to serve as a barrier to the cats (Buddlea twigs and branches are useful for this) but still allowing the frogs access.

    It's not a good idea to cover the pond. Common frogs tend to deposit their spawn in the shallowest water so that it warms up relatively quickly, which assists egg development. If sunlight's blocked out substantially, there's a strong likelihood that it will have a detrimental effect on the eggs.

    Here's a short video of frog activity in my own pond last spring, which might be of interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0YtCVchCVA
  • Thanks for the replies! I've not covered the pond fully, it's a wooden frame covered with chicken wire that's resting on bricks at the edge of the pond and then weighed down a little so it doesn't blow away. This way the frogs have about a 10cm gap to get in and out of the pond. There is good cover round the pond and in the garden in general so I guess we have done a reasonable job and now nature will take its course.


    I know not all of them can survive as everything has it's place on the food chain, but I don't like the cat killing things for no reason and just leaving them in the garden, it's not nice to come across and such a shame.
  • Mine hasn't spawned yet but I think that's down to the depth of the pond at 18" with straight sides (no shallower end) so it's probably too cold for them, I guess. It's great to hear yours have spawned though. Are there cats in the vicinity as they're probably the culprits... (sorry to hear about the deaths.) Try put across some twiggy branches over the pond surface, that way the frogs will have a chance to get in and out rather than chicken wire as that's a bit 'sharp' for their tender thin skin.
  • PewmousePewmouse Forumite
    63 Posts
    Thank you! We have lots of spawn but the pond is fairly small and shallow and it's also in a protected and sunny/warm spot of the garden even though it's in North Yorkshire :)


    I watched the garden at the weekend and we have 4 different cats come in and look round the pond so I think they are the culprits. The chicken wire is on a wooden frame and propped up on bricks over the pond so the frogs can get in and out but it's more protected from the cats. It's not sharp so it won't hurt any of the animals that are in and out. It seems to be working as we've had no more casualties and I did see one cat sitting on the frame and pawing so perhaps it was doing this from the side of the pond before.


    I am eagerly awaiting the tadpoles! We have got some early development tadpole food just to help them out as we have so many in a small area. And we have also seen lots of adults around and in the pond, they do make a racket on an evening :)
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