The Big Spawn Count
24 February 2012
It is that time of year again when frogs have emerged from their wintering spots and returned to ponds to breed. We already have our first few clumps of frog spawn in the ‘froggy pond’ behind Southpark Village. Over the next couple of weeks these explosive breeders will fill the country park ponds with thousands upon thousands of eggs.
Have a walk in the country park and listen for the males croaking to attract females, try and count the number of clumps of spawn you can see and over the next couple of months watch the amazing metamorphosis of these eggs into tadpoles and then frogs. Just watch your step along the way as there will be frogs and toads crossing the paths!
If you have a garden pond, or you know of one belonging to a friend, family member of school, you can help by counting the spawn you see. Then report it to Pond Conservation at http://www.pondconservation.org.uk/bigponddip/BigSpawncount
It is really easy to do and full guidance is given. The records will help Pond Conservation to find out vital information on the breeding success of common frogs and toads and promote their future conservation.
Amazing froggy (and toad) facts:
- Around 17% of a frog’s body mass is taken up by muscles involved in jumping;
- One clump of frog spawn is laid by each female;
- Toads lay their spawn in long strings wrapped around vegetation in the pond;
- Toads produce a toxin from a pair of glands on their backs which makes them taste bad to predators, but hedgehogs and grass snakes don’t seem to mind it;
- Frogs and toads croak through thier noses and not thier mouths.