Gardeners across Dorset are reporting large quantities of spawn in their garden
ponds this spring, with even the smallest ponds filling with clouds of eggs overnight. In response to worries that ponds cannot cope with so much spring life, Dorset Wildlife Trust is urging people to let nature find its own balance and not to move the spawn.
Sarah Williams, Rivers and Wetlands Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “There is no such thing as too much frog spawn for a pond. It is natural for many eggs, tadpoles and even froglets to die before adulthood. The huge quantities of spawn are nature’s way of making sure enough frogs do make it past all the predators and other dangers that lurk in our gardens. Your garden will not be overrun with frogs, so there is no need to remove spawn.”
Help protect your frogs, toads and newts
Only around one in fifty of the eggs will become a froglet, with pond predators such as fish, dragonfly larvae and newts to contend with. Those that do become froglets could then face garden predators such as grass snakes, blackbirds, crows, magpies, hedgehogs, foxes and badgers.
Dorset Wildlife Trust advises against transferring frog spawn between ponds because this can spread diseases and invasive plants. Sarah added: “If you do feel there is too much spawn in your pond, then you should compost it in your garden rather than give it to a friend or release into the wild. If you have a new pond, amphibians will come naturally as long as there are no fish and there is plenty of vegetation around to provide cover and foraging habitat.”
Garden ponds are increasingly important for the survival of frogs, toads and newts, and digging a garden pond is one of the best ways to help wildlife in your back yard. For more information about frogs in your garden,click here.
• Male frogs arrive in ponds in early spring, followed by the females.
• Tadpoles hatch around 2 weeks after spawning, starting to change into froglets in May.
• By late summer, the surviving frogs will leave the ponds for the cover of long grass or bushes, returning when they are around
3 years old to the same pond to breed.
For more information please contact Sarah Williams at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.