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Thread: Taking in wild frogs.

  1. #1

    Default Taking in wild frogs.

    With the onset of spring in the northern hemisphere, many species of frogs are on the move to their breeding grounds. Frogs moving around means people find the frogs by accident or by design more often means more people feel the need to take their finds home and try to keep them. To anyone with ideas of bringing in wild amphibians, please consider the following:

    1. Is it legal to collect this species in your location? Some will be protected by the local wildlife authorities. Some will have limits on number kept. Some will require licences. Check your local laws before you collect!
    2. Do you have housing for the animal ready to go before you bring it home? This goes for store bought pets too. While we always try to help, we not-so-secretly hate seeing amphibians kept in cookie jars or other inadequate setups. If you have other frogs in your collection, be sure you are aware of proper quarantining procedures before bringing in a 'wild' card. You definitely don't want to cross contaminate your cages. Have a suitable enclosure ready to house your new charges.
    3. Do you have a food source ready to go, again before you bring it home? Appropriately sized crickets, roaches, fruit flies etc. should be on hand. You should also have either an established breeding population of feeders or the means to acquire more as needed. This goes double for tadpoles you intend to raise to froglets as the tiny feeders they need may be impossible to find in your area and require mail-ordering.
    4. Will removing it impact the wild population? This can be a point of much contention. Something to keep in mind is that very few eggs laid in the wild make it even to the land stage let alone to adult hood (at least for the temperate species that lay hundreds if not thousands of eggs each per season, sometimes a scant 1% or 2% of these eggs make it to land). This means removing an adult from the breeding pond has a bigger impact than removing a little froglet which has a bigger impact than removing a tadpole. Overall health of the population is a factor as well, local and regional rarity, and so on. Outside of legal issues, no one can tell you what to do, but please take time to consider the impact, if any, of removing critters from the wild.
    5. Does this species adapt well to captivity? Something to look into before taking it in. This can sometimes be an argument for raising a frog from a captured tadpole instead of an adult.
    6. Are you prepared to take care of it for the rest of it's life? Some frogs can live over 20 years. In many locations, getting caught re-releasing an animal into the wild is a big no-no. Don't bring them in on a whim!
    7. Are you taking it in because it's injured? That's nice of you, but also consider frogs getting ill or injured and subsequently eaten by a nearby snake or other predator is part of nature. Snakes gotta eat too. We actually had someone extract a frog from a snakes mouth and take this badly injured frog indoors. A qualified vet or very dedicated individual could possibly nurse it back to health with quite a bit of pain along the way, or the snake could have finished the frog off in a few minutes, gotten a meal, and ended the frogs suffering. What's better? I don't know, but please at least consider letting nature take it's course.
    8. Are you bringing it in because it's in danger? This happens most often in the fall with people thinking it's too cold out for the frog to survive. Chances are the frog knows what it's doing, but there will always be exceptions especially if the 'danger' is something man-made. Make sure you're doing the frog a favour before interfering.
    9. Are you living under your parent's roof? Please, young naturalists and frog lovers, make sure you have your parents full support, including but not limited to the necessary $$ involved. Make sure they're on board with the frogs care requirements, especially since you're going to be bringing live insects into their home.
    10. Are you bringing a frog in because you enjoy nature? Remember that frogs can be enjoyed in the wild! I'd love to have all sorts of native frogs indoors, but it's hard to beat seeing them in their homes, interacting with their native environments, and generally doing what they do. Loving something sometimes means leaving it be.

    Just a few things to think about before bringing a wild frog home. Remember, all circumstances are different, and I'm not categorically saying do or don't, but I am saying give your actions some serious thought. The little frogs deserve it.

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  4. #2

    Default Taking in wild frogs.

    As always Brian, excellent post. Thanks for taking the time to write this one up. I think this should be a stickie

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  5. #3
    Super Moderator flybyferns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking in wild frogs.

    Thank you Brian
    This information is so valuable.
    Current Collection
    Dendrobates leucomelas - standard morph
    Dendrobates auratus “Costa Rican Green Black"
    Dendrobates auratus "Pena Blanca"
    Dendrobates tinctorius “New River”
    Dendrobates tinctorius "Green Sipaliwini"
    Dendrobates tinctorius “Powder Blue"
    Dendrobates tinctorius "French Guiana Dwarf Cobalt"

    Phyllobates terribilis “Mint”
    Phyllobates terribilis "Orange"
    Phyllobates bicolor "Uraba"

    Oophaga pumilio "Black Jeans"
    Oophaga pumilio "Isla Popa"
    Oophaga pumilio "Bastimentos"
    Oophaga pumilio “Mimbitimbi”
    Oophaga pumilio "Rio Colubre"
    Oophaga pumilio "Red Frog Beach”
    Oophaga pumilio "Rio Branco"
    Oophaga pumilio “Valle del Rey”
    Oophaga pumilio "BriBri"
    Oophaga pumilio "El Dorado"
    Oophaga pumilio "Cristobal"
    Oophaga pumilio "Rambala"

    Oophaga “Vicentei” (blue)

    Oophaga sylvatica "Paru"
    Oophaga sylvatica "Pata Blanca"
    Oophaga histrionica “Redhead”
    Oophaga histrionica "Blue"
    Oophaga lehmanni "Red"
    Oophaga histrionica "Tado"

    Ranitomeya variabilis "Southern"
    Ranitomeya imitator "Varadero"
    Ranitomeya sirensis "Lower Ucayali"
    Ranitomeya vanzolinii

  6. #4
    Super Moderator Heatheranne's Avatar
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    Default Taking in wild frogs.

    Great post, Brian. =a.1434844115446.2055312.1363241107&source=11&ref= bookmark

  7. #5

    Default Re: Taking in wild frogs.

    Thanks everyone, especially for the stickiness.

  8. #6
    100+ Post Member kueluck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking in wild frogs.


    I think this needs a weekly bump from now on.
    Rest in peace Rosie 5-31-12
    Rest in peace Rufus 2-7-14
    Rest in peace Morph 8-14-15

  9. #7

    Default Re: Taking in wild frogs.

    All wise points to consider UncleChester! We acquired our "Buntah" a little over three years ago as a rescue/find. No injuries, but in a very dangerous location for her. She was trying to hide (and not doing a very good job of it) in a small space of grass between a busy street, a busy parking lot and a highly frequented spot by dogs - our included. At the time, we felt we were doing the right thing for her. Our intent was to relocate her to a safer place or even nature conservatory. As it turned out, re-releasing her was illegal and the conservatory wouldn't take her. Our only options at that point were to turn her over to a pet store where she would become snake food, or adopt her into our family. Turning her into snake food was NOT an option for us. She is now part of the family - boy is she ever! I appreciate your article, because in the very beginning we were ill equipped in knowledge or appropriate supplies to care for an amphibian find. We quickly came up to speed because we fell in love with her, but those first few days were stressful for all of us. Did we really rescue her? We may never really know for one hundred percent certain, but it truly seemed she was in a dire predicament had no SAFE way out of where she was. It was imminent death by dog or car squashing if we left her there. Our story turned out well I think. If you knew her situation now, you might think they never was a more loved, better cared for, even spoiled little Toad.

  10. #8
    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking in wild frogs.

    Excellent thread Brian !
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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