Join the Irish Frog Watch
A few short weeks ago, all the ponds puddles of West Cork were practically bubbling with spawning frogs. It was such a sight to see – our own pond was left filled with frog spawn – such a wonderful phenomenon; it looked like a bubble wrap baby-frog nursery; each jelly-like ball protecting a little black dot – the baby tadpole within.
The man-made environment of the garden pond is most likely going to become increasingly significant in future years for the survival of the Irish Frog as its natural habitat is being lost to drainage and development.
The Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) run an extensive survey of frogs each year – which gives an idea of their distribution and population. To get involved and download your survey card visit here . It is so important to monitor frogs as they are barometers of the wetland ecosystem and let us know when the local environment is heading for trouble.
Each year we take ten little eggs and hatch them in a tub in our kitchen. The children delight in watching each new developmental stage – with each stage of the cycle exciting as the next. Once the tadpole is free swimming, make very small and partial changes to the water on a daily basis and we have always had great success feeding a fish-food flake or two. I have always found that when children are actively involved in the environment they show a much healthier respect and interest in it.
The IPCC has a wonderful page all about frogs with fascinating facts ranging from the life cycle to poems and jokes – all about frogs.
For example, did you know that frog bones form a ring of growth every year when the Frog is hibernating – this enables scientists to be able to count the rings to determine the age of the frog.