- Charles Sturt academics advise on how to reduce numbers of frogs getting trapped in backyard pools
Frog populations are booming across the Riverina and Lachlan regions and residents are being advised on how to navigate and embrace this once common occurrence.
Charles Sturt University academics have received reports about mass amounts of frogs appearing in people’s swimming pools and homes in recent weeks in the Riverina and footage from Condobolin has shown hundreds of frogs being scooped out at once.
Lecturer in Environmental Management Dr Alexandra Knight and Charles Sturt graduate and frog ecologist Dr Anna Turner in Albury-Wodonga said this is a natural event.
“This is a great opportunity for residents to understand how many frogs were once in the region,” Dr Knight said.
“There are reports right back to the 1930s of large masses of frogs marching across the landscape and smothering people’s verandas – this was once a much more common phenomenon.”
“These large numbers are temporary and there are ways to manage the situation.”
Dr Knight said the large number of frogs is a result of consecutive wet years. The flooding this year and late last year has allowed the population number of some species to explode.
In particular, large populations of Spotted Marsh Frogs (pictured) are being reported, with additional species being the Eastern and Great Banjo Frogs.
“Spotted Marsh Frogs are explosive breeders, with reports of up to 22 egg masses (each with up to 1500 eggs) in one square metre,” Dr Knight said.
“They are also one of our most resilient frog species in this region.”
As flood waters are receding, frogs are moving across the landscape looking for wetlands, refuges and sites to retreat to. Many of them have moved into swimming pools.
Dr Knight and Dr Turner suggest some easy steps to manage them include clipping netting around the bottom of your pool fence to stop frogs from entering the pool, putting a log in the pool to act as a ramp to allow frogs to climb out, turning off pool lights overnight and covering the pool overnight.
“If you are scooping out frogs by the bucket load it is best to rehome them to the nearest creek or river channel, farm dam or wetland,” Dr Knight said.
“These frogs play an important role in controlling insect numbers, including mosquitoes. They are also a valuable resource for fish and waterbirds.”
Dr Knight said residents should also enjoy the extra amphibious inhabitants as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see them in these numbers.
“Frog numbers are declining around the world with many species becoming extinct, so this natural event is a great opportunity to get to enjoy some of our unique Australian nature,” she said.
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