Like all our native Australian species, frogs are doing it tough as cities take over from wild habitat. Creating a special habitat in your garden for frogs is an easy thing to do and it will really help our frogs! Different frogs like different habitats so you need to learn a little about what frogs are native in your area and decide what kind you want to attract. The south-west of Western Australia is home to around 30 species of frogs and the easiest way of identifying these secretive creatures is as the scientists do – by their calls!
Don’t speak frog? No problem, this great froggie site will help you out! Head out at night and listen to or record as many sounds as you can find, then you can identify them at home.
Location, Location, Location
Find a place in your garden that is suitable for a pond or bog. The perfect location will have a wet area, as well as access to filtered sunlight, shade and shelter. Make sure it is not a busy place as there might be too much activity to make frogs feel safe.
Once you have picked a spot, you will need to decide on the wet area. Not all frogs like deep water – some prefer bogs or soaks. Ponds can be purchased brand new or you can be creative and make one out of recycled materials such as an old bath, sand tray, or even an old bucket! Dig a hole, place your pond in it and fill with water. If you want a shallower or more boggy environment then also fill all or parts of the pond with dirt and/or stones.
Good shelter – whether natural or artificial – is essential in your frog-friendly garden. Natural shelter includes branches, rocks, logs and leaf-litter placed around the wet area. These provide spaces for frogs to sit or hide in/under. Please don’t remove them from the bush as they may already be another animal’s home. Artificial shelter includes holed bricks or PVC-piping, which provide a sturdy frog haven.
Surround your wet area with native plants. They are more suited to your local area than introduced plants and often require less water. Local plants attract local insects, which in turn attract frogs. Suitable water plants in your pond, such as rushes or sedges, provide shelter and help keep the water clean and oxygenated.
A Balanced Ecosystem
The perfect frog habitat has the right balance of plants and animals. Plants filter the water, frogs eat the insects and tadpoles feed on the rotting vegetation.
Buy one or two native, frog-friendly fish from a pet store to control mosquito larvae (but don’t use goldfish or Mosquito Fish as they will gobble up your frog eggs).
Frogs drink and breathe through their skin which means they are very sensitive to chemicals in their environment. Avoid using chemicals and (non-organic) fertilisers in and around your whole garden as they may harm frogs. Use environmentally-friendly fertiliser alternatives.
Friendly frogs you might see in your Perth garden:
- Motorbike Frog (Litoria moorei)
- Slender Tree Frog (Litoria adelaidensis)
- Western Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dorsalis)
- Quacking Frog (Crinia georgiana)
- Moaning Frog (Heleioporous eyrie)
- Squelching Froglet (Crinia insignifera)
- Clicking Froglet (Crinia glauerti)
Plants for a frog-friendly garden:
- Native Waterlily (Ottelia ovalifolia)
- Pale Rushes (Juncus pallidus)
- Tassel Sedge (Carex fasciculsris)
- Centella (Centella sp.)
- Common Linearis (Dampiera linearis)
- Kidney Grass (Dichondra repens)
Climbers and creepers
- Running Postman (Kennedia prostrata)
- Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana)
- Old Man’s Beard (Clematis linearifolia)
- Western Pygmy Perch (Edelia vittata)
- Western Minnow (Galaxias occidentalis)
- Swan River Goby (Pseudogobius olorum)