A good year for Frogs?

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Message 85638 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 2:02:38 UTC

I just finished cutting my yard. This year I have noticed quite a few more frogs hopping out of the mower's way than in recent years. There have been other years where there have been many frogs in my yard, but that was like 5 or so years ago. Perhaps frog numbers are cyclical? I figure frogs are a good sign. They must eat a good number of those nasty insects.

Anyone else have many frogs hopping in their grass?

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Message 85639 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 2:14:57 UTC
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 2:32:35 UTC

Sadly the number of amphibians and reptiles have been decreasing in our province. Its mostly due to increase use over the years of agriculture chemicals and the destruction of their habitat

Frogs are a good sign. Since they are sensitive to the ecology. I think they are considered a environmental indicator as to how healthy and diverse your environment really is..


you might have had a wet spring if you are seeing lots

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Message 85643 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 3:06:10 UTC
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 3:09:53 UTC

It has been an exceptionally wet spring. And there is a pond that dries up in the summer nearby. So I do have a good breeding place nearby. That pond has more water than usual this year. I guess it is summer now. The frogs are getting big. More toads around too.

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Message 85645 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 4:16:00 UTC
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 4:21:13 UTC

Certainly overall a lot less than when I was a child. Heavily dependent on rainfall of course. DownUnda we have El Nino et al to contend with, but ~ month ago we had a few days of persistent heavy showers ( some roads awash, that sort of thing ) and they were hopping and bopping what seemed like everywhere! We have this terrific species called, colloquially, the Banjo Frog because it's croak has a 'twang'. Never seen one, being rather late evening/nocturnally active - and they go quiet if you come near. They sound amazing if you have a whole crew of them at it. We're in medium density woodland with heavy undergrowth so I only mow a vague path through our block. We don't have much of what you could legitimately call open lawn.

Cheers, Mike.
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Message 85667 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 12:26:03 UTC
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 12:34:53 UTC

This is whats happening to our frogs...

Frogs as Environmental Indicators

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Message 85670 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 12:48:38 UTC - in response to Message 85667.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 12:53:45 UTC

This is whats happening to our frogs...

Frogs as Environmental Indicators


... the highest form of life to lay their eggs in water ...

this is like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring again. Insecticides, herbicides and surfactants would degrade the outer lipid membranes of the eggs, and if compromised it's barrier properties are lost and no sensible internal chemistry ( eg. frog making ) can occur!

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Doh! More water dilutes and flushes away any surfactants about .... like a good couple of days of rain.

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Message 85672 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 13:17:26 UTC - in response to Message 85670.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 13:42:17 UTC

This is whats happening to our frogs...

Frogs as Environmental Indicators


... the highest form of life to lay their eggs in water ...

this is like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring again. Insecticides, herbicides and surfactants would degrade the outer lipid membranes of the eggs, and if compromised it's barrier properties are lost and no sensible internal chemistry ( eg. frog making ) can occur!

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Doh! More water dilutes and flushes away any surfactants about .... like a good couple of days of rain.


Our province uses heavy commercial agriculture . All a couple days of rain does for us, is wash this stuff into our watershed

edit: Our agriculture is very dense our province was once described as the million acre farm... We are learning... Farms now have to have buffer zones around brooks and rivers... Three year crop rotations and techniques to allow the minimum use of pesticides herbicides and fertilizers
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Message 85674 - Posted: 18 Jul 2008, 14:21:42 UTC - in response to Message 85672.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2008, 14:36:11 UTC

Our province uses heavy commercial agriculture . All a couple days of rain does for us is wash this stuff into our watershed

edit: Our agriculture is very dense our province was once described as the million acre farm... We are learning... Farms now have to have buffer zones around brooks and rivers... Three year crop rotations and techniques to allow the minimum use of pesticides herbicides and fertilizers

Our water comes straight off heavily forested mountain sides with no industry up there whatsoever. It's the city of Melbourne's watershed. As you'd expect it's been contentious, to say the least, but with changes over the years our commercial timber now mainly comes from dedicated plantations in the lower elevations. That reduces erosive action particularly. When I was a young lad ~ 1972 a landmark experiment was begun nearby my home town ( on Mount Riddell ) which ultimately demonstrated the folly of clear-felling entire mountainsides. Limited 'coupe' harvesting is now done, if any, and when done cleverly can be advantageous - by breaking up 'fire alleys' especially. Our sub-alpine tall timber does very poorly with hot wildfires, but recovers surprisingly well back into logging coupes. I used to earn good money harvesting the seed pods from fallen trees in the coupes - which were subsequently re-sown later at the site of harvest to return the exact same species mix.

Mind you, some timber should never be touched. I remember, with some regret, witnessing an enormous mountain ash eucalypt being felled in my youth. An awesome sight to behold. The base was bigger than my current generous house plan and it's ring count was well over 250 ie. before Europeans arrived!

I'm no raging greenie and rather detest the sort that turn up once a year, chain themselves to trees, vandalise equipment, use our local coppers as punching bags and whatnot - but then claim holy innocence, just cause etc. All they want is footage of being dragged away and will outrageously inflame matters until they get it. You know they're coming because the TV crews turn up the day before, and follow them thru to the inevitable court hearing in the City. Ratification by martyrdom, but only if properly staged.

The very sad news is they really do set back genuine environmental efforts no end by slurring the quieter efforts of the steady planners. Local land care groups, who are mostly farmers, cringe when these ones turn up because they cop the backlash when they go. They are not actually welcome with their warrior mindset. An ego fed does not grow a tree, planting saplings does that. I'm sure they feel personally satisfied but most are deluded if they think their efforts go beyond a snappy media bite or three. Many consider it a rite of passage before they progress to some political career - to get proper 'cred'. A classic example is the lead singer of Midnight Oil ( Peter Garrett ), now in federal parliament, whose views are now quite unrecognisable from his youth.

I sure readers on other continents will identify their local versions of the above behaviours. But enough ranting!

Cheers, Mike.
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Message 85689 - Posted: 19 Jul 2008, 2:45:53 UTC

Here in the Midwest of the USA a twangy sounding frog might be helpful in one of our "native" music styles which is bluegrass. The banjo plays a big roll in that form of music along with the violin. Yee haw. Perhaps we should import a few Banjo frogs for a new bluegrass band. Hey, may be I could use that as a business model.... I better shut up. Heres croakin at ya.

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Message 85704 - Posted: 19 Jul 2008, 17:29:08 UTC - in response to Message 85674.
Last modified: 19 Jul 2008, 18:05:35 UTC


I'm no raging greenie



I am a greenie but I am not a raging:-)

Edit: It is a fall back from hippie days...:-)
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Message 85709 - Posted: 19 Jul 2008, 23:51:32 UTC - in response to Message 85708.
Last modified: 19 Jul 2008, 23:53:38 UTC


I'm no raging greenie



I am a greenie but I am not a raging:-)

Edit: It is a fall back from hippie days...:-)

It's an abused word. Both hippie and greenie actually. Ah, it's the shallow celebrity types who do it as part of some business plan I can't stand. But you noticed that. Such matters deserve not to be trivialised by such hubris circuses, and it's the sensible heads that have to do the clean-up and follow-on. Maybe we could round them all up and put them on 'Survivor Greenie' or somesuch. A win-win right there. They'd get to bask in the glory they crave, and we get to plonk them in the centre of our magnificent Simpson Desert ..... :-)

I think that if we value such natural assets we should price them and pay, specifically to compensate those families and communities whose livelihood we blow away by 'legislative risk'. In Australia over the last three decades I've seen substantial social dislocation, without redress, due to that alone. This has bred a widespread view that any 'green' ideas are bad ideas, and hence immediately disposable.

Back to frogs ..... we have had some lovely rain this week up here in Chum Creek [ it's a hick name isn't it? I have no idea why it was called that circa 1880 ]. So I expect some frog action shortly. Alas Peanut, I would get arrested if I exported, or imported, a frog. But any No.1 hopeful hoe-down crews would always be welcome to cut a rug DownUnda! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Actually I think some UK mob did do a celebrity survivor show in the Queensland rain forest recently. If I was one of the Green Tree Frogs up there I'd be offended! :-)
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Message 85820 - Posted: 25 Jul 2008, 1:58:24 UTC - in response to Message 85709.


I'm no raging greenie



I am a greenie but I am not a raging:-)

Edit: It is a fall back from hippie days...:-)

It's an abused word. Both hippie and greenie actually. Ah, it's the shallow celebrity types who do it as part of some business plan I can't stand. But you noticed that. Such matters deserve not to be trivialised by such hubris circuses, and it's the sensible heads that have to do the clean-up and follow-on. Maybe we could round them all up and put them on 'Survivor Greenie' or somesuch. A win-win right there. They'd get to bask in the glory they crave, and we get to plonk them in the centre of our magnificent Simpson Desert ..... :-)

I think that if we value such natural assets we should price them and pay, specifically to compensate those families and communities whose livelihood we blow away by 'legislative risk'. In Australia over the last three decades I've seen substantial social dislocation, without redress, due to that alone. This has bred a widespread view that any 'green' ideas are bad ideas, and hence immediately disposable.

Back to frogs ..... we have had some lovely rain this week up here in Chum Creek [ it's a hick name isn't it? I have no idea why it was called that circa 1880 ]. So I expect some frog action shortly. Alas Peanut, I would get arrested if I exported, or imported, a frog. But any No.1 hopeful hoe-down crews would always be welcome to cut a rug DownUnda! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Actually I think some UK mob did do a celebrity survivor show in the Queensland rain forest recently. If I was one of the Green Tree Frogs up there I'd be offended! :-)



I understand.. From experience it sounds like you you got a burr under your saddle..

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants PHY-1104902, PHY-1104617 and PHY-1105572 and by the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the MPG.

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