Ways You Can Make A Difference:
- Participate in Frogwatch USA
- Homeowner's Guide to Protecting Frogs: Lawn and Garden Care
1. Participate in Frogwatch USA
Help scientists conserve frogs and toads by gathering information about your local species. Anyone can volunteer!
You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to make a contribution; all you need is an interest in frogs and toads. Participate in Frogwatch USA
or the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program
. You can also learn about other volunteer amphibian monitoring opportunities at Frogweb
2. Homeowner's Guide to Protecting Frogs: Lawn and Garden Care
You may not think that you can make a
difference, but caring for your lawn in an
environmentally sensible way can have a
bigger impact than you might think.
You can help keep the environment clean
and the frogs healthy by following these
simple tips. If everyone does their part
to protect the environment, all types of
fish and wildlife, including frogs, will
enjoy a cleaner, healthier environment.
Choose non-chemical weed
controls whenever possible:
Mulching, spading, hoeing and pulling
up weeds are good ways to avoid weed
growth rather than applying weed killer.
Minimize fertilizer use:
is a common problem.
Fertilizing more than the recommended
rate does not help plants grow better and
often harms them. In addition, excess
fertilizer will likely wash into streams and
rivers and may lead to amphibian
deformities and deaths. Researchers at
Oregon State University recently
discovered that even low levels of nitrates
(a compound found in fertilizers) are
enough to kill some species of
amphibians. Help prevent pollution from
fertilizer by taking these actions:
Reduce your dependence on
- Leave the grass clippings from
mowing to decompose on your lawn
(feeding your lawn this way is equal to
fertilizing it once or twice a year).
- Use compost in your garden to
develop healthy soils and reduce the
need for chemical fertilizers.
- Have your soil tested to find out
exactly what nutrients it needs in
order to avoid applying unnecessary
fertilizers. Your County Agricultural
Extension Service will test your soil
for a reasonable fee.
- Use organic fertilizers rather than
synthetic ones. Organic fertilizers
release more slowly into the
environment and create healthier soils.
- Apply fertilizer when the soil is moist
and then lightly water. This will help the
fertilizer move into the root zone
instead of blowing or washing away.
However, be sure to check the weather
forecast in order to avoid applying
fertilizers immediately before a heavy
rain which may wash the fertilizers into
the nearby streams.
- Calibrate your applicator to make
sure you apply the correct amount of
- Minimize the attraction of pests
such as rats, therefore reducing the
need for pesticides, by moving wood
piles away from the house and clearing
away litter and garbage.
- Provide good drainage to prevent
standing water that will attract pests
such as mosquitoes. This will eliminate
the need to apply bug sprays.
- Plant native grasses, shrubs, and
trees. Native plants are often hardier
than non-native plants and less
susceptible to pests and disease.
- Put an assortment of plants in your
yard to increase biological diversity
and encourage a variety of beneficial
organisms that provide natural pest
- Rotate the plants in your annual
garden. Changing the type of plants
you grow each year makes it harder
for pests dependent on a certain type
of plant to become established, and
therefore, eliminates the need for
- Grow plants that are natural insect
repellents, such as lemon balm, among
your flowers and vegetables to help
keep unwanted insects away.
- Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves, and debris out of street gutters and storm drains. These outlets drain directly
into lakes, streams, rivers, and
wetlands. Pet wastes contain bacteria
and viruses that can threaten fish,
wildlife, and people.
- Never dump oil, antifreeze, or
other household chemicals into storm
drains or sewers, down the drain of
your sink, or into the toilet. Contact
your local Solid Waste Management
Office to find out how to dispose of
these materials properly.
Many of the methods described above
are part of an Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) approach to pest
control. IPM is a common-sense
approach that uses good planning, pest
monitoring, and appropriate control
methods, including the judicious use of
pesticides when necessary, to get the best
long-term results with the least
disruption of the environment. To get
more information on IPM, check with
your County Agricultural Extension
Service, the National Pesticide
environmental organizations, or your
public library. Many state universities
have IPM information that you can
access through their websites.
Other lawn and garden care
information sources include your state’s
natural resource agencies, native plant
societies, local conservatories, and