Friday, 28 February 2014

Attracting Frogs to your Proudly South African Garden

Frogs are under threat worldwide, from habitat loss, pollution, and, more alarmingly, a new deadly parasitic fungus known as amphibian chytrid.

Greater Leaf-folding Frog Afrixalus fornasinii

Frogs and toads play an important role in the ecology of the garden, where they eat insects which make up the largest part of the diet of frogs, they also eat slugs, earthworms and millipedes

Painted Reed Frog Hyperolius marmorata

If you want to play your part and ensure their survival in your own back yard, there are several things you can do to create a frog-friendly garden.

Natal Forest Tree Frog Leptopelis natalensis

Build a pond using a sheet of thick plastic laid into a depression covered with a suitable layer of soil or out of concrete. It need not be large to be effective and it need be no more than 30 cm deep. In fact any container big or small that holds water can be used to attract frogs. Water plants need to planted into the pond to provide shelter and food for tadpoles.

Even more important than the pond itself is the area around it, so suitable local indigenous reeds and other marginal aquatic plants need to be planted in and close to the pond which will then provide an attractive habitat for reed and other frogs.

Natal Dwarf Puddle Frog Phrynobatrachus natalensis

In addition local indigenous shrubs, groundcovers and grasses must be planted nearby to provide additional shelter and to attract insects slugs and other food for the frogs to feed on. The more indigenous plants you have in your garden the more habitat you will provide to make it attractive to frogs. A garden full of sterile exotic plants will attract very few if any frogs.

Red Toad Schismaderma carens

Because all frogs breathe partially through their skin, they are particularly sensitive to toxic chemicals in the environment therefore you should avoid using insecticides in the garden wherever possible.

African Common Toad Amietophrynus gutturalis

All the frogs photographed above and many other species are resident and breed in my own garden in Mount Moreland in a number of small and large tubs, shallow plastic trays, plastic dirt bins and concrete ponds which have been place in strategic positions within the plants in the garden.

If you are interested in the conservation of frogs please go to Save the Frogs at and subscribe to their news letter and if funds are available make a donation to help to save the frogs.

If you would like Ecoman to design you a garden that is attractive to frogs please view my website at

1 comment:

  1. You should hear all the different calls the frogs make after dark