Monday, January 5, 2015

If You Build it, They Will Come:First year work

We set up our temporary frog pond in July 2014 on our backyard patio, a largely shaded area. In the past, we had observed amphibians on the property and in the area, but not regularly. Within a several block radius, there were no other known stable water sources. Some people in the neighborhood had swimming pools or chlorinated ponds, but these were not animal-friendly sources. We set up the pond using a small children's wading pool, a corrugated ramp to allow animals to enter and exit, rocks at the water end to weigh down the pond, and several floating cover objects, including a turtle dock and imitation lily pad. We treated the pond once every two weeks with mosquito bits made by Summit Chemical, BACCILUS THURINGIENSIS SUBSP. ISRAELENSIS SEROTYPE H-14, to stay within the limits of local codes. Non-amphibian animals were observed in the pond, such as mayfly larvae, hornets, and slugs; there were also larger animals such as doves, squirrels, and cats observed drinking. On 8/21/2014, the first sign of amphibian use, a young Green Frog, Lithobates clamitans, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) was observed resting on the lily pad, resting on ramp, in the water, and utilizing ramp for cover when startled. The frog was observed daily until 9/15/2014, when there was a major rainstorm and sudden drop in temperature. On 8/19/2014, the next sign of amphibian usage, a Southern Leopard Frog, Lithobates sphenocephalus, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) was sighted in pond. On 9/20/2014, an American Toad, Anaxyrus americanus, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.), and Woodbridge's Toad, Anaxyrus woodbridgei, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) were observed in shrubbery near the pond. On 9/28/2014, a Gray Tree Frog, Hyla chrysoscelis/versicolor, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) and Green Tree Frog, Hyla cinerea, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) were observed on the side of the house under the porch light, near the pond. No amphibian sightings were after 9/28/2014 due to drops in temperature.

Niemiller, Matthew, Reynolds, Graham. "The Amphibians Of Tennessee." The University of Tennessee Press. 2011.

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