How to make your garden frog-friendly
What you can do to help common garden frogs to survive.
Frogs are under threat worldwide, from habitat loss, pollution, introduced species and, more alarmingly, a new deadly parasitic fungus known as amphibian chytrid. If you want to play your part and ensure their survival in your own back yard, there are several things you can do.
Maybe a Pond
Creating ponds is the best thing that anyone can do. Creating a frog pond isn't as difficult as it sounds, and can add much to a garden's aesthetic appeal. Ideally, a pond should be at least 60cm deep, in a shaded area, with pond liner (to keep the water in), with a few shallow edges for the tadpoles, and no fish. Also, build as close as you can to an existing population.
Amphibians rely on a network of ponds, so that if one pond gets into trouble and gets wiped out it can be recolonized quite fast. So what people do now to try to conserve amphibians is to create a network of ponds.
However, it is important to let frogs arrive at your garden pond on their own. If there are frogs within 1000m, and the pond is suitable, they will often come unsolicited. Moving frogs into your pond can deplete other ponds of their populations, could possibly infect the transported frogs with disease, and might even be illegal in your area.
How To Make A Frog Pond
A Frog-Friendly Garden
With or Without A Pond
Perhaps even more important than the pond is the area around it.
Your garden can be a frog-friendly terrestrial environment.
Amphibians spend about 90% of their life on land. At least two years of life is spent on land before they breed. If they are frogs, they only come back for a couple of days; if they are toads, they come back for two weeks each year. They actually are terrestrial animals that breed in ponds.
Wild areas of the garden, as well as leaf piles, rocks, logs and garden debris, provide areas in which frogs can forage and hide.
Because all amphibians breathe partially (and in some cases, completely) through their skin, they are particularly sensitive to toxic chemicals in the environment. Therefore, you should avoid using chemicals if you hope to have frogs in the garden. Slug pellets are not necessary if you keep frogs (since frogs eat slugs), and can be potentially harmful to the amphibians.
Adding a pool to your garden is a fantastic start, but if you want to do more you could join your local network of wildlife volunteer groups that aim to protect and conserve the native amphibians and reptiles. Some of these groups organize amphibian surveys and may be grateful for volunteers.