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Save The Frogs Day: April 25th, 2015

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Build A Frog Pond!

Wetlands Construction Workshop
Wetlands For Wildlife
Photos of ponds our supporters built
Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for building a frog pond! Please be sure to inform us of your pond, we love to hear about our supporters taking action!

Introduction

SAVE THE FROGS! has initiated our Wetlands For Wildlife program. We invite schools and homeowners to build frog ponds on their property and document the project and its successes through video, photos and stories, which will be posted online to educate and inspire others to do the same. With your help we can cover the globe with frog habitat and fill the night air with the soothing sounds of frog calls.

Amplexus - Litoria pearsonianaHabitat destruction is the number one cause of amphibian extinctions worldwide. Fortunately, homeowners and schools can help create new habitat for frogs! Building a backyard frog pond is a great way to give your local frog populations a boost.

And what better way to get kids interested in frogs than to have them build a frog pond behind their school? Their efforts will be rewarded when they see the first clutch of eggs in the pond, and when the first tadpoles metamorphose and trade in their aquatic existence for a terrestrial life! Plus, the lessons learned from the project align with many state's required science criteria.

"A pond is sure to be the most exciting element on school grounds".
--Kirk Meyer, Executive Director, Green Schoolyard Network

Your mission

BGuibemantis pulcher by David Dennisuild an amazing frog pond at your home or school. Get photos and/or videos of the construction, the frogs or anything else of interest. Tell us what you did. Tell us what happened. Tell us any good stories about your experience. Tell us what species showed up, not just of frogs but any wildlife. Be as detailed as you like (but long does not necessarily equal good!). If you have film editing skills or if there is a film department at your school, make a short documentary about your pond project. Finally, email us your best photos and your pond story! That's it! Go SAVE THE FROGS!

"I built a frog pond in my yard 3 weeks ago. Already have visitors and tadpoles galore. I can't even tell you how much pleasure I have gotten from this project. Brought the 6 year old neighbor girl over this morning to teach her about the frogs. She is so excited, too."
-- Kimberly Powell, Michigan

Please look at the photos of ponds our supporters built

The students of Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco built this frog pond, which is now an active Pacific Chorus Frog breeding ground! Get inspired and learn how others built their frog ponds on our Frog Ponds Our Supporters Built webpage.

Visitacion Valley Frog Pond

"Dear Kerry, I wanted to tell you that last year, after finding your site and hearing for the first time that frogs are endangered, I built 2 very simple frog ponds in my yard. Many birds and snails are loving them. I have found one frog swimming in the pond and 3 hopping around the garden! I must admit that I get super excited when I see them :)
Thank you, for helping me to help them! And for all of your brilliant work at SAVE THE FROGS!
Kind regards, Charlene"

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do we build a frog pond?

The Sage website has some great pond building tips, as does Pond Conservation and their Guide to Building Ponds. Also have a look at Froglife's Just Add Water pond page. Remember: clean water is key, so if possible, use rainwater instead of tap water! Please also check out webpage with photos of ponds our supporters built!

How do we get frogs in our new pond?

Litoria brevipalmata - RakotopareIf you build it, they will come! Frogs like to wander the landscape in search of food and new breeding ponds. This is great for you, because if there are any frog populations in your area, chances are that a frog or two will find your nice new pond, and get straight down to business filling it up with eggs and tadpoles. We do not recommend you transport amphibians from elsewhere to populate your pond (and in some states it is actually illegal to move frogs around without a permit!).

What about mosquitoes?

"Wetlands can be expected to lower mosquito numbers in your community. The dragonfly larvae, damselfly larvae, salamander larvae, and invertebrates that thrive in the wetland can be expected to control mosquitoes. Swallows, bats, and dragonflies will consume adult mosquitos. The wetland should become a population "sink" for mosquitoes."
-- Tom Biebighauser, Wetland Construction Expert

"Mosquito dunks are Bacillus thurigiensis that supposedly only
affect mosquito larvae. I find that a bit hard to believe, but
regardless this is one of the best and safest ways to deal with
mosquitoes. These are meant for still water, as moving water will just flush out the Bacillus. Actively removing standing water from downspouts, gutters and just about everwhere else in a 3 mile radius works too. I would highly discourage people from dumping fish into new environments. This is how non-natives and invasives thrive. Provide a healthy aquatic environment, and nature will provide pest control for you."
-- SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Member Shannon Curtis

I have land, but no time or energy to dig. Suggestions?

Contact a local school's science department and tell them about the contest. Offer them your land if they would like to bring a group of students out to do the construction.

My school won't allow the pond to be built. Help!!

No problem. Contact a local landowner and tell them about the contest. See if you can build the pond on their land. They get free labor and frogs on their property, and your students get a fun field trip to do the construction.

What if no frogs show up?

No problem. You'll still likely get diving beetles, Daphnia, dragonflies and other invertebrates, which make good frog food! Creating habitat is important and the frogs should eventually utilize the space.

Frog ponds for California Red-Legged Frogs (CRLF)

Dr. Nina D'Amore says: "Generally speaking, there are some good guidelines in the federal recovery plan for CRLF. They need some deep water >3 ft. to act as a refuge from wading birds and land-based predators. It is best if the pond is designed so that it can be drained or dry down every other year or so, so that it doesn't attract bullfrogs or get fish. Having some warm, shallow reaches for larvae to develop in is good, as is making sure that there is some cover along parts of the pond edge. Having a nice mix of open and vegetated water seems to be preferable.

As far as I know, there is no program that allows people to move CRLF into new habitats. Moving adults has proven to be a very bad idea, as they generally try to beeline back to their previous pond, often getting killed in the process. As you would suspect, there is also plenty of concern about moving novel strains of different pathogens etc. So, the philosophy can best be described as, "Build it and they will come."

How do I clean a frog pond?

Most ponds do not require cleaning as they are self-supporting ecosystems. If you feel the need to clean your garden pond, bear in mind that some some species may actually hibernate underwater so it is best to avoid working on your pond during the winter months. You could begin cleaning the pond in the late summer months. At the time the frogs should have already bred and the eggs would have hatched. Work on half of the pond first so that tadpoles can escape to the other side as you clean. Make sure to work slowly you do not scoop any out of the pond. Then a week later work on the second half of the pond.

Pseudophryne raveni

What about snakes?

It is a concern among many that if you have frogs on your property then the snakes will be there as well. This can be an unwanted experience for those who fear snakes, but it is important to understand these animals and respect their right to live in nature as well. The best part? We can do so with no one getting hurt! Here are a few steps that can make your home frog AND snake friendly:

(1) Watch where you step.
When playing in the yard or gardening, be conscious of where you put your hands and feet. Snakes like to curl up in dark, quiet places during the heat of the day. In the early morning and evenings the snakes will move around to search for prey. Teach your children about snake safety. Tell them to never pick up snakes and say they need to get an adult if they see a snake.

(2) Clean up your property.
Do you have boards, debris or trash lying around the yard? Clean it up! A board on the ground is a PERFECT hangout for a snake. Keep your place tidy and the snakes won't come around your house. Keep the pond tidy as well by keeping vegetation at a manageable level, remove areas where snakes could retreat (like turned over pots, cracks in rocks, etc), and keep an active presence around the pond. Snakes prefer to not be around people and if you hang around the pond, the snakes usually will go somewhere else.

(3) Respect the snake.
If you find a snake, leave it be! It is very important to understand that we moved into the snake's backyard first and we should try our best to coexist peacefully. If you see a snake, leave it be and it will move off into the forest on its own. Learn about the snakes in your area by picking up a reptile field guide or googling "snakes of {your area}".

Do ponds create frog lovers?

This is the pond where SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger spent much of his childhood, so we think ponds are great places for kids to connect with nature!

Frog pond

Questions?

Don't be afraid to ask. Please contact us here.

Frog Pond

"This is so awesome! I'm really looking forward to participating! And I'm spreading the word to all of my friends, too. :)"
--TurtleWoman797