Here in Ireland it’s the time of year to talk about frogs. Two weeks ago I noticed the first frog spawn in a local drain and today I counted 38 frogs in our garden pond!
Frogs are amphibians. In Ireland, we only have three amphibians; one species of frog (the Common Frog) and one species of toad (The Natterjack toad, only found in Kerry) and one species of newt (Smooth newt).
Amphibians need water to breed but spend most of their time on land. They eat slugs as well as other insects so are a great addition to any garden.
Each clump of spawn you see is from one female – so if you count the clumps you can estimate how many females have been visiting your pond. Frogs will travel up to half a mile to get to a water source to spawn.
How long the spawn takes to hatch into tadpoles depends on the temperature of the water. The warmer the water the quicker the tadpoles hatch.
Check out any ponds or drains near you and see if you can see any spawn. Remember frogs (and their spawn) are protected under Irish law. If you are a school teacher follow this link to the National Parks and Widlife Service and see how you can get a license to collect spawn for classroom learning.
Common frog colouring sheet from Froglife UK
Craft – Make a pebble frog from Froglife UK
For lots of fun easy activities for young kids check out www.activityvillage.co.uk/frog-worksheets
Irish Peatland Conservation Council have a detailed page on frogs if you want to learn more