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Really hope that someone can help ! Our garden is rapidly turning into a frog cemetery as I buried the 3rd one yesterday from our half-barrel pond and I have just found another, moving but barely alive and have put it back in the pond to allow it the final hours in its' home. The first 3 were clearly attacked by a cat we have (or something like it) but the 4th was intact. We have had a pond for about 10 years and this has never happened to this extent before. I am wondering if the pondwater is poisoning the frogs so they can't get away as easily as they have been (ie they may be sick or weak). Otherwise, what can I do to protect them ? Can I get a pondwater test at a garden centre ?
Frogs need to be able to get out of the water easily, they go to the ponds around February to mate and lay eggs. In the winter they will hibernate at the bottom of the pond but they don't live in the water 24/7. If your water is not smelly, you might find that Polecats, Hedge Hogs, and Grass Snakes are the culprits and like to eat frogs.Cats don't as a rule eat them they like to pat them around and the Frog hops away If they cannot get out to go and hide in nice dense ground cover, old stones or logs they may well be trapped and an easy target.I believe there are water testing kits available online .
I agree with the last reply. However the last frog you found may just have come to the end of its life. If you have had your pond 10 years there will inevitably be old frogs. I think you would know if your pond was unhealthy, but kits can be found in most aquatic centres. Check out your plants in the pond and take it from there. Do make sure frogs can escape easily and give them plenty of ground cover. Be interested to hear how you get on. Good luck.
Many thanks to you both, Wendy and Patricia for your really helpful replies. The frog I put back in the water has not been touched externally by the look of it and is still moving about, albeit very slowly. I have just popped along to my local garden centre that has a big aquatics side to it and they have very kindly offered to do a test on the water for £1. They did suggest that if the same water has been in the half-barrel for at least 10 years, it could be too heavily acidic from the rainwater.
I would be inclined to take the frog out of the water and place him somewhere sheltered but damp. Have you got a large flower pot? Put some Logs or large stones on the ground and place froggy amongst them and cover him up with the flowerpot.Is there any spawn in the tub? If so carefully remove it with a fine net or flour sieve and place it in some fresh rainwater. you can always re introduce it when you have the results of the test.Keep us posted.
Last night, I made a froggy house from a partly-submerged pot and put leaves etc in it - also have just come back from a test of the pondwater and apparently everything is perfect, spot on for nitrates, etc and was advised to just leave it be. However, there is apparently a worldwide virus going round that is killing the poor little things off.....