Frogs are welcome here

In the garden with Brownie

With the (seemingly) endless rains so far this year, you’d think that the local frog populations would be going gangbusters
But sadly, our frog populations are in steep decline.
Although cane toads often cop the blame, the main factor responsible within our backyards is the lack of suitable homes for frogs to live, breed and thrive.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and there are positive steps we can take to help bring back the frogs into our backyards.
Creating a frog-friendly garden
Frogs require areas in which the adults can breed, the tadpoles can develop and the young can mature. By creating suitable habitats in your garden, you can encourage thriving populations of frogs and other wildlife.
The most important factor in making a garden frog-friendly is creating a ‘bush-like’ setting.
It doesn’t have to be a large area but is ideally should have a variety of ground covers, grasses, shrubs and small to large trees, offering protection from wind and sun, and providing food for insects, which in turn feed the frogs.
With very few exceptions, frogs also need water to breed.
A permanent pond, surrounded by a range of plants, can be both visually appealing and attractive to frogs.
But take care – a pond can also be a drowning risk. If you have concerns, contact Council to check what requirements are necessary before you build a pond.
A potential mosquito problem can be avoided by using native pacific blue-eye fish. A local pet shop will be able to help you out with these.
Don’t use ‘mosquito fish’. They are actually called gambusia and are an introduced pest which eats native fish and tadpoles – but ironically, not many mosquitoes.
Tadpoles feed on algae and other organic matter in the water. A typical outdoor pond environment will normally offer all the nourishment they need, so adding extra food is usually unnecessary.
Provide perches so the newly developed frogs can leave the water. Floating waterlily leaves and protruding branches are ideal.
Densely vegetated pond edges will discourage cane toads from laying their eggs.
Humanely eliminating them from your garden will do the frogs and other wildlife a favour.
Remember, many frogs aren’t green, so make sure you identify the right ‘toad’.

Important things to avoid

Don’t move frogs or tadpoles from one area to another. There is deadly disease called ‘amphibian chytrid fungus’ which can be easily spread from one area to another. Unnecessary relocations of frogs can speed the spread of this fungus and wipe out whole populations.
If you have the right garden conditions, the frogs will come.
When the environment is wrong, nothing you can do will keep the frogs in, but if the conditions are right nothing will keep them out.
Also, frog skin is very sensitive. Avoid using any chemicals in or near the pond and don’t just top up directly from the mains water tap, as the chlorine in the water can cause them problems. Fill up a large container and leave it in the sun for a day or two so the chlorine comes out, then use that to top up the pond.
Also keep domestic pets like cats, dogs and chooks away from the pond, especially at night when the frogs are more active.
By creating the right conditions for frogs, it’s not too difficult to encourage these gentle creatures into your garden.
To learn more, take a look at the Sunshine Coast Council website
( and search for ‘Frogs of the Sunshine Coast’ – here you’ll find information on many of our local frogs.