Who let the frogs out?
Now that song's stuck in your head. ;-) If you have a Phoenix pond, you may be hearing, and even seeing, an increase in frog and/or toad activity. We’re taking this as a good sign that the weather is starting to change to Fall! And we’ll probably be seeing egg sacks and tadpoles a little later on in our Phoenix pond, as well.
We are lucky enough to have endangered Lowland Leopard Frogs in our Phoenix pond, which migrated to our property during a particularly heavy monsoon season about 14 years ago from the Agua Fria River bottom. Because they’re endangered, it is illegal to transport them without a special permit from the State, even from one Phoenix pond to another. This species has declined in abundance and distribution across its range in the United States, so Arizona Game & Fish keeps a tight rein on it. They make a lovely purring-type sound, and are actually fairly shy about showing themselves.
What most people have in and around their property and Phoenix ponds are Sonoran Desert Toads, which are the largest western species of toad, and considered to be one of the more aquatic of the southwestern toads. They dig into the dirt and hibernate during the dry times to avoid desiccation, and then come hopping out during wet and humid seasons. Desert toads make a distinctive sound, like a child’s short screech, and some people find this rather annoying. If you’re one of them, don’t sweat it, the toad season doesn’t last long, and they’ll be dug back into their hidey holes as soon as it dries out again. They won't even hang out in a living Arizona pond year-round.
One amphibian you DO NOT want around your property and Phoenix pond is the Bull Frog. They eat native wildlife species like birds, small mammals, dragonflies, butterflies, lizards, frogs, turtles, and fish – pretty much anything smaller than them that they can catch. We’ve even seen a photo of one with a bat wing sticking out of its mouth. They are prolific reproducers and considered highly invasive, and can travel 8 miles in one season to seek a new habitat. Their sound is VERY loud and annoying, and even your neighbors will know you have one around. If so, get rid of it – permanently. And if you’re the adventurous type, this is the species used for culinary frogs legs.
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Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 20+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!