Want to do something for our environment and gain a garden pet? Well, by creating the right environment you could have lots of garden pets of the frog variety!
There are over 200 different species of frogs in Australia which vary enormously in shape, size and colour. Amongst the more common species are the Striped Marsh Frog, the White-lipped Tree Frog and the Green Tree Frog. The Marsh frog is one of about a dozen species of frog that have adapted to living in suburban areas. According to frog-lover Lothar Voigt from Educational Nature Displays, frogs are a fantastic environmental indicator. Their permeable skin soaks up water pollution like blotting paper and the presence of frogs in a garden pond will indicate low levels of pollution and clean water.
Frogs have a complicated lifestyle. They go from egg to larvae to tadpole to frog and a lot of things can go wrong along the way.
Attracting frogs to your backyard:
According to Lothar, who designs and maintains display ponds, aquariums and wildlife enclosures, almost anyone can attract frogs to their backyard. Create a moist place with some water and make sure the area is a place where frogs could live, spawn and find food. Generally, wherever there are tadpoles you shouldn't have any fish as they will eat the tadpoles. However, there is an exception. The White Cloud Mountain Fish are fairly tadpole friendly. They won't eat too many tadpoles and will help keep the mosquito population down. But bare in mind, this is also an exotic fish so keep it strictly in a garden pond situation.
In just about all cases the frogs will arrive by themselves. Even in the inner suburbs, frogs like the Striped Marsh Frog will find the area, and start calling other frogs. If you can build a frog pond suitable to the Green Tree Frog in particular you won't be short of frogs as when they spawn they make thousands of eggs.
Creating a frog friendly environment in our homes is the first steps we can take to preserving these fascinating creatures. If you are looking to buy your own frogs you might need a license so check with the National Parks and Wildlife in your state for more information.