Frog Pond Nears Completion in Time for Save the Frogs Day | News
When I tell people I’ve dug a frog pond in my back yard, their reactions range from shared enthusiasm to scrunched-up noses.
Frogs apparently freak some people out.
Not me. I find them fascinating – so much so that I took shovel to dirt and dug a 19×8 pond that’s about 20 inches deep. It took me about three weeks, three pairs of garden gloves and required me to make one treacherous trip to a rock quarry, but alas I finally have what I’ve wanted for years: a frog-friendly space in my yard.
I called its construction: Operation Ribbit, and while my intentions were purely selfish, I discovered by creating a habitat for frogs, I am helping to ensure their survival. According to Larry Rizzo, Natural History Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri is fortunate in having a healthy population of a number of frog species, but he stressed it’s important to “keep it that way.”
“Many species are declining or have disappeared for a variety of reasons,” Rizzo said.
With the development of more and more land, frog habitats are decreasing. Another key factor in their decline is due to their living conditions. Both Rizzo and Greg Sievert at Emporia State University’s Department of Biological Sciences say that frogs are a bellwether for our environment.
If a frog forms two heads or a fifth appendage, that’s a telltale sign that something is wrong. Frogs’ skin is permeable, so they are easily affected by what’s in the water, land and air. (Even lawn fertilizer and weed killer can be harmful to frogs.)
“Because frogs are good indicators of the environment, what’s happening among frog populations has implications for us, too,” Rizzo said.
Save the Frogs Day
While creating this frog-friendly space in my yard, I learned that Saturday, April 28 is Save the Frogs Day. The goal of this movement is to encourage schools and home owners to build frog ponds. You can find out more information about their cause on their website.