Over the past couple of weeks I have found three dead adult frogs floating on my fishpond surface. I have not seen this before in previous years. Is it just an old-age or a seasonal thing or could there be something I could do to prevent it?
Do they look normal but dead or have they got red legs?
Thanks for that very speedy response, Fidgetbones!
No, I haven't noticed any red legs, just limp dead bodies.
Are there any cats in the area? I know they are sometimes fascinated by frogs and the noise they make and sometimes have a go at spearing them with a claw.
Oh yes there are cats, including one of our own. He's not interested in frogs, though (they don't taste very nice), and he fights off any other cats that have the temerity to enter his garden. No, I doubt it can be cats: I had a close look at the dead frogs when I took them out of the pond and there was definitely no sign of injury.
I'm more concerned that it could be disease, especially as there was a 'run' of dead bodies over several days and also because the frogs looked a little pale and bloated, although this could, of course, be due to natural deterioration.
The fish all seem to be well, though.
The mystery seems to be widespread
I suggest you contact your local wildlife trust with details .
I seem to remember a few years ago that Frogs in Europe were being decimated by some dreadful disease.......don't know whether this was applicable in the UK.
Pond frogs do tend to wear themselves out in the breeding season...often to the point of just too much sexy behaviour. I think it is acceptable to find a certain number of dead frogs ( more particularly in an overcrowded pond ) .......but a different matter if you think there is some other cause of death or something visibly obvious.
I would follow Dove's advice and check with your local wildlife trust.....they are the best source for info on what is happening in your particular locality.
Thank you all for your help, particularly that link Pansyface. (Some interesting noms de plume on here, by the way!).
One thing that occurs to me is that the frogs may be finding it difficult to escape from the pond. The water level is 4 or 5 inches below the surrounding brick walls, although this doesn't seem to have posed a problem in the past. The only think that has changed is that I now have some of those floating plastic disc-shaped things covering most of the surface (to protect the fish from herons!), although there appears to be sufficient space around the periphery to permit frogs to leave. In addition, there are plants at one end where the frogs seem to deposit their spawn every spring, and which should provide both shelter and means of access for frogs.
Well, I'll keep and eye on things and, should there be any more fatalities, I'll take some pictures to either post here or perhaps offer to my local wildlife trust. I don't know who they are - we are in Cheadle, Cheshire - but I'm sure I can find out.
(thing, not think! My fingers are getting old.)
If you put wildlife trust into google you'll get a site where you can find your local one