Tadpole Exchange Program

WA Gould League at Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre are now running the Tadpole Exchange list. Please find the updated tadpole exchange program information on their website or visit the Perth Tadpole Exchange Facebook group.

Just built a new frog pond and amazing frog friendly backyard, but no frogs have come to the party yet? No problem! The Tadpole Exchange Program is here to help you. 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. 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 tadpoles to give away from a list available on request.
  • It's then up to the recipient to email 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. Rules of thumb are:
    • Transport of tadpoles no more than 3 suburbs away on the Swan Coastal Plain and 2 suburbs away in the Hills.
    • No tadpoles to 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 clean or new buckets or large plastic freezer bags as you would do for transporting aquarium fish from the pet shop.
  • 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 10-50 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 resident breeding adults in your backyard.
  • 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.

Happy tadpoling!