After years of drought, the rains have returned to southeastern North Carolina. While this may be unwelcome to beach goers, its worked wonders for the area frog population.
Frogs, like all amphibians, need both land and water to survive. They breed in our lakes, rivers and streams, but most importantly in ponds called ephemeral ponds, or pocket ponds, which are only around when there’s rain to be found.
These pocket ponds do dry up when there is a drought in the area, and that mean’s that fish can’t survive in these areas at all. That means that tadpoles have one less predator to worry about when they’re breeding. In the past few summers of drought, these perfect breeding grounds vanished and were unavailable to the frogs.
“Since the summer of 2007, this is the first year that the frogs have actually been able to produce eggs, and hatch into larvae that live long enough to transform into adult froglets,” said Andy Wood of the Audobon Society.
After years without making new frogs, this summer is proving to be an important boom to the frog population. Believe it or not, the number of frogs in the area is more unique than you may think.
“We’ve got the greatest frog diversity in North America, with the exception of Georgia and a couple of places in Florida,” said Wood. “We are frog central.”
And with summers like these, the area can remain that way for years to come.
“This is a wonderful year. I know it has been hard for people who have been flooded, but it has been wonderful for the frogs,” added Wood.
Interestingly enough, Andy Wood asked us not to divulge the location of the pond Tim Buckley went to for the story. Frog poachers frequent our region, because of the unique variety of frogs.