Saturday, April 05, 2008

Toads, Frogs And Springtime~

Spring has arrived, and amphibians are on the move. Some overwinter where they are,
and some migrate, just like birds. (well, no they don't fly)

A warm, rainy, muggy night will get them on the move by the thousands.
They will travel hundreds/thousands of miles across snow and other harsh conditions to reach their destinations. Most of them will return to the same pond or other water source year after year.

Thousands are killed every year trying to cross highways and roads.
Now you may be thinking what's the big deal with a few squished frogs.

Consider that frogs, toads, lizards, and other amphibians eat all manner of bugs and insects that we do not consider a plus to our surroundings.
They are a very important part of the ecosystem.

Some stats say the global amphibian population has declined as much as 50% since 1950. Frogs and toads make up the largest of this group and totaling more than 5,000 species worldwide. Whatever killed the dinosaurs did not kill the amphibians, but the uv radition is taking a major toll. ( I think there is a lesson for us human species in that statement)

Frogs and toads have some major differences.
Frogs are more aquatic than toads, unless you have a good water source nearby, the little guy in your yard or garden is no doubt a toad.
Frogs also have a smoother skin and somewhat sticky to the touch.
Toads are thicker and warty looking. The warty look is actually granular glands filled with a substance that helps defend them from predators by making them unpalatable.

Frogs are also more agile than toads, this comes from having longer legs and more webbed toes, better for leaping and swimming.

Toads are ...well, stubby.

Frogs and toads are very easy to live with, require nothing more than a well placed water source ( a drain saucer from a plant pot works very well, a little hut of some kind for safe resting, a flower pot turned on it's side, a few rocks and plants or grass and they are as happy as you and I at the Hilton.)

They respond well to human kindness, so get to know a toad this spring

I would like to thank Yvonne Osinga-Bisk, my friend and one heck of a networker for inspiring this article. You can visit Yvonne at her blog, and tell her I sent you.

Happy gardening~

Bea Kunz

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