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Green animals » frogs
Ok, let me get this off my chest! I have a soft spot for frogs, they are just soooo cute. Frogs are in serious risk, worldwide, due to environmental degradation. They are considered nature’s litmus, a test of a healthily functioning ecosystem.
Frogs are fun pets to have, whether in the garden or inside the home in a terrarium. There are a few important rules to consider. Firstly, in New Zealand, it is against the law to keep any of our native frogs. Buy tadpoles from pet shops. These tadpoles are Golden Bell, Green frog orWhistling Tree Frog, all introduced from Australia.
Tadpoles need clean rainwater, not tap water, to live in. They can be fed on goldfish food and boiled lettuce. As they get bigger hang a piece of raw meat on a string inside the tank. The tadpoles will love it, instantly turning into Great White Sharks!! When they grow legs stack some rocks in the tank so that the froglets can get out of the water to breath. Small frogs will eat fruit flies and houseflies. Often by leaving a rotten piece of fruit in the tank you will attach fruit flies which will lay eggs in the fruit.
To catch flies for my frogs I use a butterfly net to scoop up the flies around the house. I figure it is a very green way to kill flies. No toxic fly spray needed, just one hungry frog! I keep our frogs in a tank with a small container of water and planted ferns and moss and a branch for climbing up on.
Captive frogs will live for up to fifteen years. In the wild they normally only live for 4-5 years until they are preyed on by something bigger. Only release frogs back to the dam you caught the tadpoles from or from where the pet shop sourced them from. This is to stop the spread of disease, particularly a fungal infection which has spread through the wild population.
If you want to encourage frogs into your garden to help with pest control build a small deep pond and provide rocks and old tree trunks as hiding places. A solar light placed near the pond will attract night insects, which the frogs can prey on. Frogs will hibernate in winter and re-emergence in spring. The males will serenade you with a crocking chorus. To breed frogs require still water around a metre deep. If you provide this make sure it is either fenced or cover with steel mesh to protect children. Cats, ducks, herons and rats will predate on frogs in our urban environment.