Treefrogs

Although we commonly think of frogs as wetland-dwelling creatures, many spend more time in trees. One of the most common species is the Peron's Tree Frog, found throughout most of eastern Australia and identified by its loud cackling call on summer nights.

By planting a rich diversity of shrubs (acacias or mint bush), trees (eucalypts, banksias) and vines (such as the Wonga vine), you can create suitable habitat.

The Green Treefrog

Terrestrial frogs

Most of Australia’s frogs are terrestrial - they spend most of their time on the ground. Common species include Banjo Frogs and Marsh Frogs. Many terrestrial frogs live on the edges of wetlands, so it’s important to provide them with places to shelter around your pond. For ponds in shady corners of the garden, shelters can be made from old terracotta roof tiles. In sunnier spots, use materials that won’t heat up as much, such as logs and large stones.

Activity:
A treefrog lodge

Take a bucket or ceramic pot without holes and put 5 to 10 plastic plumbing pipes (30-60cm long and 5-10cm in diameter) upright in the middle. Fill your pot or bucket to the rim with smooth river stones to stabilise the pipes and half fill with water to create a moisture gradient. Potted native plants can be buried in the river stones to add greenery and to welcome future frog guests.

Tadpoles

All frogs start life as tadpoles, so, if you want frogs in your yard, you’ll need to provide a watery home for them to raise their offspring in. Rather than taking tadpoles from your local waterways, it’s best to wait for frogs to arrive in your backyard of their own accord. They may take a while to come, but it’ll be worth the wait!

Activity:
Build a frog pond

You can buy a pre-formed rigid pond liner, or use any water-tight container. Dig a hole to fit its shape and dimensions and lay sand between the hole and the liner to ensure it fits snuggly. Put another thin layer of sand, course pebbles and non-fertilised soil on top of the liner. This will be the substrate in which aquatic plants grow.

Fill your pond with water and leave it for a week to allow the sediment to settle before planting a range of floating and semi-submerged plants such as Native Water Lily, Water Milfoil and Nardoo. These will shelter tadpoles, oxygenate the water and absorb organic waste.

Finally, plant a natives around the edge of your pond. Choose species that provide shelter and tolerate soil that's only moist when the pond overflows (such as Juncas sedge and flax lillies).