Save Your Pacific Tree Frogs!

A couple of pictures showing the way my Pacific tree frogs adapted to the Yellow Flag Iris plant that took over the pond. Before this plant took over, the pond was a very open sight that I loved. But in a couple of years all I saw in there were bullfrogs. Then somehow, the Yellow Flag Iris quickly took over. Now I see Pacific Tree Frogs again. That plant the tree frogs enjoy are, like bullfrogs, considered “invasive.” Coming originally from Ireland they have also invaded Home Depot and Lowes. 

This article is just an opinion, but it is based on what I have closely observed. When I bought the property where I now live I saw numerous native frog and salamander species. As our home was being constructed we dug and built three different types of ponds. One large one in the backyard for koi and goldfish, and two others for native species of any kind. The very small one in front of our home remains great for salamanders. Only about four square feet in width and 6 inches deep it has constantly attracted them. On the other side of our backyard fence, in the extended property, we had a large ditch dug in. About 15 feet wide and 4 to 5 deep it fills up from normal drainage coming down the slope of the Graham, WA territory. Within the last couple of years, however, the native frogs have disappeared. Bullfrogs had taken over the big ponds and I suspect that they had been wiping our native species. But recently I noticed quite a few pacific tree frogs hanging on the limbs of the explosive plant in our big pond outside the fence. For the past two years I was only able to see and hear bullfrogs. Now the Pacific tree frogs have returned! Is it because of that plant called “Yellow flag Iris?” It looks like that to me because this vegetation has taken over the pond as you can see from the above picture, and has provided a significant safe habitat for the tree frogs. I do not even hear bullfrogs now. So if you have a similar bullfrog issue in your pond, maybe the introduction of a Yellow Flag Iris plant will help. Bullfrogs in the northwest, by the way, are referred to as “invasive species.” But they are not invasive. Like the vast majority of so called invasive species they are actually “Introduced species” brought in by humans.  Many years ago bull frogs were introduced for “frog leg” dinners. Those days are over, and now bullfrogs are enjoying a lot of their own preferred meals instead. I like bullfrogs despite the fact that their territorial takeover is still going on, but I love observing other species of amphibians so I am doing what I can to preserve them on my property.

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