Frogs in your Backyard
Frogs are a welcome visitor to any backyard and can be good bio-indicators of an ecosystem's health.
Frogs are amphibians, animals that live both on land and in water. One of the factors that allow frogs to move from water to land is their specialised skin.
The moist skin of a frog achieves a number of important biological functions including:
- absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide
- regulating their salt content and absorbing water
- changing colour to camouflage themselves
- secreting mucus to avoid drying out.
Frogs are susceptible to many changes in their environment. Changes in salinity, temperature and pH affect the distribution of many species. Salinity can impact on a frog’s ability to regulate its salt/water balance. Temperature change can affect the ecology of frogs by forcing populations to alter habitat use and spawning times. Large changes in pH can also impact the distribution of local species and, in some cases, they will move out of an area altogether.
Surprisingly, frogs often prefer turbid water instead of clear pools. At present, frog populations are declining all around the world.
Using frogs as bio-indicators can be as simple as noticing that a formerly noisy frog habitat has become silent while other nearby habitats are still active.
Use this interactive map to find out what frogs are in your region of NSW
Karen Player , Manager Museum Outreach