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Help- pool full of tadpoles is being drained, what to do with them?


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#1 Betta132

Betta132
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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 24 April 2015 - 05:35 PM

Our neighbors have a pool that's been sitting empty for a couple of years and is now being drained. It's full of second-year bullfrog tads, first-year bullfrog tads, and just-about-to-be-frogs leopard frog tads. I don't want them to die. Can I transfer them to a river? We're half a mile from the river, so I assume the original frogs somehow got up here from there. No animals have ever been added to the pool, the bugs and frogs have just introduced themselves.

If I put these tadpoles in a river, could it transfer pathogens? I'm not sure how frogs in one area could have picked up any pathogens that aren't found half a mile away. 

What about if I raised them to frogs and then let them go in a river? I don't think our yard is wet enough to support bullfrogs and leopard frogs, those guys need a lot of water. We barely have enough moisture for toads. 

If neither option works, what can I do? I don't have any place to keep 300 frogs. That many tadpoles, maybe, but not that many frogs. 



#2 mattknepley

mattknepley
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Posted 25 April 2015 - 05:53 AM

That's a tough one, kid. I am no authority, but I reckon about the only course of action is to provide them a pool of some type in your yard. From which they will metamorphose and leave. As you mentioned, frogs (especially leopards) are quite mobile. One kiddie pool is not going to provide for all of them, so many of them will be forced to disperse, just as they would have from the neighbor's pool, or from a smallish natural pond, and seek their fortune elsewhere. Gradually wean the hangers on by reducing their water.

Frogs are not fish, of course, and these frogs have not been held captive, so I don't know if quite the same militancy about not releasing captive creatures apply. You have not created quite the unnatural situation such as we do in aquaria or fish ponds. That said, I wouldn't dump them in the river. Give 'em a half-way house and then force them to find the river themselves...

If I'm way off base here, mods or anyone else,slam me and lock this up...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 25 April 2015 - 08:01 AM

Look for a vernal pool and add some there. Or maybe talk to the neighbor and encourage them to drain it very slowly. I have noticed that as pools start to dry up that it seems to hasten metamorphosis. I may be wrong, but I am certain I have observed this. Many pond owners would be glad to have you dump a bunch of tadpoles in their private ponds. I would avoid flowing bodies of water.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#4 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 25 April 2015 - 12:25 PM

Lay a long board with one end on the pool rim and the other end at the bottom.  Raccoons will solve the problem (if GB herons dont solve it first).  Most of the time, a relatively undisturbed habitat (such as your local river) has animal populations that fit the carrying capacity of the habitat (recognizing that numbers do go up and down from year to year within a certain range).  Adding 300 more of a species that already lives there is not going to increase the habitat capacity -- many of them will likely die anyway, or else decrease the survival of animals that are already there.   Is there a zoo or wildlife rahab center that might be able to use them as animal food?  It would be easy to harvest and freeze them.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#5 dac343

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 01:01 PM

Really wouldn't suggest dumping bullfrogs tads into other vernal pools. They can easily outcompete and kill other species found there especially in ephemeral pools. Honestly Texas along with the rest of the United States is not suffering from any sort of shortage of bullfrogs so even as a amphibian lover I would lean towards letting them become food/die. Even though in Texas the risk is minimal I just want to add that moving bullfrogs location to location is generally a bad idea as they can carry bd (often refered to as chytrid fungus) and not suffer ill effects but pass it on to other amphibians. I know it sucks to think about it in such a way but the amphibian community does better when bullfrog numbers aren't allowed to artificially increase. The leopard frogs I'm a bit more torn about, are you 100% sure of their ID?
David Cravens

#6 Betta132

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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 25 April 2015 - 02:01 PM

I'm quite certain these are leopard frogs, they're green with leopard patterns. Also, they make sharp chirping noises when startled or caught, which is a leopard frog trait. 

Also, I can't say for certain that these are bullfrog tads. That's just my best guess. Do leopard frog tads get to 4" long? They look to be larger than the still-tailed leopard frogs, but perhaps these are leopards who decided to grow a bit before frogging out?  I could find some with legs and keep them until they develop a recognizable pattern, perhaps. 

 

This is Texas, it's very dry. Could leopard frogs really survive long enough to go places if someone gradually removed their pond? My garden is fairly damp in one spot, so I do have a place they could disperse from (I'd add a pool of water), but I'm worried they'd just end up dried out and dying somewhere else. 

 

Maybe I should put an ad somewhere asking if anybody wants free tadpoles/frogs for a private pond. 


Edited by Betta132, 25 April 2015 - 02:02 PM.


#7 mattknepley

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 03:45 PM

I can remember being a kid back in the '70s and '80s, at the cottage my family had on a little peat bog pond. At night the place would almost shake with the mega-chorus of bullfrogs. The only half-adequate comparison I can draw is that if you were to take in a deep drink of clear, remote, western desert night, and then imagine the voice of the frogs as the stars in the sky- they will be one and millions at the same time. (If you've never seen a western desert sky that is a meaningless comparison- you just won't believe/understand it until you do.) I was last back there in the late '90s, and their numbers had plummeted. I heard maybe 10 or 12. It was a sad occasion. Glad to hear in the big picture that their numbers are still pretty good.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#8 Betta132

Betta132
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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 25 April 2015 - 09:26 PM

Ok, so I went and caught some tadpoles to get a better look at them. The large tadpoles are leopard frogs, NOT bullfrogs. I know this because I found one with hindlegs, and the markings exactly match those of the leopard frogs I've caught. Logic says that, if the two-year-old tads are leopards, the one-year-old tads are also leopards. There are just a lot of large leopard tads, and I wasn't aware they could get that large before frogging out.

Does this remove the thing about bullfrogs being the Typhoid Maries of chytrid? 

About the issue of introducing 300 frogs into one spot of a river: what if I spaced them out along a few miles of river? Wouldn't they distribute themselves out if they felt crowded? 



#9 Michael Wolfe

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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 25 April 2015 - 09:52 PM

Go back to Geralds post... what makes you think there are not enough frogs in the area now?  If there is good habitat and food, then they are already there utilizing the resources.  More is not always better.  You might just be messing up the balance.  Let nature take its course.  You are trying to make yourself feel better about "saving" tadpoles.  But you are going to release them into the wild and they are mostly going to die anyway... that is the nature of small frogs... they are part of the food web.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#10 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 01:38 AM

I too have to agree with Gerald's post. I was trying to come up with an answer for you, but ignoring the bigger picture. Part of the food chain,be it now or later.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#11 mattknepley

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 05:37 AM

An alternative way to look at Gerald's post is that if the predators can get in on that board(s), then froglets/frogs can get out. It may help you to feel better.

However it shakes out, I applaud your compassionate heart and your ecologically-inclined mind.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#12 gerald

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 03:28 PM

Me too.  It's tempting and feels good to focus on "saving" individuals when the bigger picture of habitat loss and ecological damage seem too overwhelming.  We do it with wildlife and we do it with humans too.

 

However it shakes out, I applaud your compassionate heart and your ecologically-inclined mind.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel




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