As part of the ‘Building Frog-Friendly Gardens’ program, Alcoa Frog Watch offers a tadpole exchange program. This service provides an opportunity where people with new frog ponds can ‘seed’ their ponds with tadpoles to provide a head start to their backyard frog population. Alcoa Frog Watchers with healthy frog ponds and large numbers of tadpoles can give away the fruits of their labours to neighbours seeking tadpoles. A win-win situation!
How it works:
- People wanting tadpoles can obtain the contact details of people with lots of tadpoles from the list below.
- It's then up to the recipient to e-mail or ring the people with extra tadpoles to arrange a time and method to pick them up.
- This is a great time for the recipients to "talk taddy" with people who have had successful frog ponds to learn some frog-friendly gardening tips.
Some important points:
- The #1 rule of the program is to not transport tadpoles very far from where their parents are from. This is to minimise the risk of spreading diseases and also avoids transporting species outside their natural range where they won't be able to cope with the new environmental conditions. Our policies are:
- Transport of tadpoles no more than 3 suburbs away on the Swan Coastal Plain and 2 suburbs away in the Hills.
- No tadpoles can be transported from the Coastal Plain to the Hills or vice-versa as these areas have different species of frogs.
- To capture tadpoles, use a large net (available from fish shops) to scoop them up carefully.
- Tadpoles often hang around the edge of ponds, so target these areas and be quick with your net! Carefully running the net in the deeper areas of the pond can also work, but be careful to not damage submerged plants and don't fall in!
- Put tadpoles in to clean or new buckets or large plastic freezer bags as you would do for transporting aquarium fish.
- Never leave tadpoles in a car or in direct sunlight (just like your kids and the dog!).
- Transfer tadpoles to the new pond right away. Large number of tadpoles in a small container will quickly foul the water putting all the tadpoles at risk.
- From 20-50 tadpoles will be sufficient to seed a new pond, so long as your neighbour can spare them. But the more tadpoles, the more likely some will metamorphose in to frogs that will eventually become the breeding adults in your backyard pond.
- Specific species. Both recipients and givers can indicate what species they'd like to receive or give. Givers will be able to provide some indication based on the kinds of frog calls they've been hearing in recent weeks.
- Most tadpoles in the program are motorbike frog and slender tree frog tadpoles, with occasionally banjo frogs and bleating or squelching froglets for more advanced gardens.
To download a copy of the regional registry of tadpole donors, please click here.