Monday, July 25, 2011

Barking Tree Frog Tadpole Rescue

The fruit of the Frogapalooza evening down at the pond two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, the pond did not get the message about holding water until the tadpoles metamorphosed into tiny froglings.
In the last week, it has shrunk to two puddles of only a few inches in depth.
The water sits above a gooshy black organic ooze layer.
Warm water holds less oxygen than cool water and these shrinking puddles are loaded with thousands of tadpoles.
It's a recipe for a ca-tad-strophy.

Historically, this pipe channeled water from my gutters to the pond.
I took the gutters off last summer, but the pipe system I installed is still there.
This morning I hooked a hose into the system back at the house and sent water flowing down to the pond.

After the water was flowing, I scraped a shallow channel to direct water from the pipe to the tadpole puddles.

I also scraped a shallow canal to reconnect the two puddles.

As the cool, 72 degree well water entered the puddles, the tadpoles gravitated toward it and clumped up at the inlets.
It is raining in the area now, the drought is over, but the rain has skipped PFHQ for a week or so and the heat of summer was threatening to dry up these puddles. It took me about 15 minutes to scrape the "stream bed" and turn back the clock on these puddles.

Amphibians need every little hand up we can give them, not just here, but around the planet.

All I have to do is monitor the situation now and run a little water when the puddles shrink too much.
Most tadpoles metamorphose pretty quickly, so these guys just might make it.

I made a little video for you so you could see the whole operation in motion.


Shelllady said...

I have to say again.."I LOVE your blog"!! You certainly know how to entertain us, and what a great setup you have at FCHQ!!

Thanks so much for sharing!!

Island Rider said...

"No Act of Kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. " Aesop

You are a man who lives by his motto.

TheFrogBag said...

I love this! Thanks so much for helping these guys. And I love your blog too!

Dani said...

Do you not have to worry about chlorine in the house water hurting the tadpoles?

robin andrea said...

Excellent rescue! I try to rescue something everyday, and interestingly there's always some hapless creature somewhere needing assistance. You hit the jackpot on this one!

When I grew up, we called these creatures polywogs. A few weeks ago I googled polywog vs tadpole and found there's really not much of a difference. At least according to the articles I read. Is that true?

threecollie said...

You are absolutely THE MAN! Frogs are among my favorite critters and saving thousands of potential froglings is a darned fine thing to do. Thanks

threecollie said...

Sorry about leaving two comments, but Becky and I watched the video after the first one. We were eating juice pops while watching and nearly had snorting disasters. You have missed your calling and should be a comedian. Seriously! Where were teachers like you when I was in school? rofl

Sayre said...

You are going to be OVERRUN by grateful froglets one of these days! Good thinking, helping these little guys out. Are you going to put your gutters back up and re-attach the pipe? It seems like the pond kind of needs some help with water levels. You're going to have some lovely frog choruses soon.

Floridacracker said...

Shell Lady,
Thanks! I'm glad you have fun here!

Cathy S,
I like to believe it helps.
If nothing else, I may be blessed with some amazing frog music in the future.

Hey Froggy,
Thanks. Every tadpole counts these days.

Our water has no chlorine. It comes straight from the soil beneath us. We are not connected to any municipal water system.

I have always thought of them as two different names for the same thing, with polywog being a northern expression mostly.

Well, this teacher was in school too.
Thanks for the career suggestion!
Glad no real snorting disaster happened.
So messy.

I'm leaving the gutters off, but plan to install grated drains to channel roof water away from the house and down to the pond.
One more thing on my "to do" list!

Julie Zickefoose said...

ObieCrackerNobie! Phoebe and I are snorting here, too. I caught the key modifier ("well ) water, knew the Cracker wouldn't chlorinate his babies.
Doesn't it do your heart good to save taddies? This video makes my heart swell up.

We have a smaller scale project going here, having saved probably 750 gray tree frog and mountain chorus frog tads. But for a raccoon intervention, we'd have had 1,000. Coons are foiled for now and we're enjoying watching them grow. Hint: Taddies kept in smallish water garden containers hugely appreciate goldfish food sticks. Like kids chewing on an ear of corn. I'll blog it...eventually.

swamp4me said...

You are a good man.

Sally said...

You are a hero! Well done. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh man, Intrapudular Canal. What a golden term. Bravo, good ser. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

You are a good man!!

Looky here:

Thought about you when I saw it. But, boy oh boy, did I get dizzy!

Heading to Gainesville in a bit. If you and Mrs FC visit Jr on Friday night I'll be at Sandy's. on NW 34th St. Friends are playing.


Miz S said...

FC, you da man! Da Frog Man! Well done, sir.

Hey, how come I don't have any frogs in my little backyard pond? I mean, I know you can't really diagnose the situation from afar. But do you have any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Miz just need some of FC's horny toads.

LaDivaCucina said...

Wow! What a ruckus! Lookit all dem little froggies! I love how you mess with, er, help along nature! You're right, frogs need all the help they can get, thanks for doing your part and more, FC!

PS: How do you get to sleep at night with all them critters? 'Spose it beats hearing the bus go by....

biobabbler said...

How fabulous. And how delightful to see someone do something simple to help SO many tiny creatures who are growing up in a pretty rough environment. =) Hooray, you! =)

ps for obvious reasons the babble babble babble made me laugh extra. =)

Floridacracker said...

Picturing you and Phoebe sitting on the couch snorting in perfect harmony!
GO YOU with your own tad rescue operation!
Thanks for that goldfish stick tip. We have a bunch of those since the coons ate the koi.

And you are a good treefrog ID lady!

Thanks, but this was the simplest little bit of effort on my part.
I suppose the tadpoles look upon me as some kind of deity.

Why thank you. I find the mother tongue to be very flexible and in need of new words from time to time.

Hey Patio!
I wish I was sitting listening to music on Friday, but I will be studying chemistry in preparation for the next day's exam.
Thanks for that link!

Miz S,
Hmmm. Are there frogs in the yard?
I don't know why they would not use it unless it is loaded with hungry fish.

Anon below Miz S,
Well, that is excellent advice!

La Diva,
When I come to the city I am just amazed at the constant roar of noise. You really get used to silence out here, ... punctuated by seasonal music like frogs and owl courtship. Hey, I am loving your keys posts, just haven't had a chance to comment yet.

Welcome to Pure Florida!
Thanks for the comment. I can see how the babbling brook might appeal to you!

LaDivaCucina said...

No worries, FC, I lurk when I'm busy too. Our Miami Beach noises come mostly from buses, the garbage truck, dogs, car alarms and those stupid thump thump stereos and the all time worst offender: cigarette boats! grrrr....

I actually LOVE springtime when I can hear da birdies sing.

We call gas petrol in Australia. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Ericka said...


yay for saving froggies!

Octohawk said...

So nice to see someone helping out the frogs. Oddly enough, everyone I know is consistently trying to get rid of them, from my parents turning off their backyard fountain altogether to my grandmother going batsh*t crazy over the frogs in her koi pond. I mean, since when are frogs a bad thing? I like their sounds and they eat bugs.