need frogs for outdoor pond

Asked February 7, 2018, 6:18 PM EST

Where can I buy native tadpoles for my outdoor pond and support frogs?

Clackamas County Oregon frogs

4 Responses

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately under Division 44 Protected Wildlife, Holding and Propagating Rules, it is illegal to buy or sell native wildlife.

Tell me a little more about your pond. How big is it and how deep is it? Does it have a running stream that spills into it? How long have you had your pond? Do you have vegetation in the pond and/or around it? Can you hear Pacific Chorus Frogs (tree frogs) calling near you? Attach a photo of your pond if possible.

I probably shouldn't have called it a "pond." It's just a tiny 2ft x 2ft x 2ft plastic tub in the ground, next to my water fountain. I found a tree frog in the water fountain and put him in the "pond" I dug for him. But was told they jump away, but if you add tadpoles they always come back. So I was trying to get tadpoles because I love the way the frogs sound at night. Didn't realize you can't buy any. How are we supposed to help the frog population if people don't raise native frogs for sale?

To answer your question, step one is to educate ourselves. Just by asking this question, you are helping native frogs. Kudos!

Here are the next three major steps you can take to help native frogs:

1. Habitat loss is the major cause of the decline in native fauna including frogs. You can help by creating habitat they like. OSU has a great publication about building a simple pond. In addition if you plant more cover for them to hide in such as plants, logs, rock piles etc. they will be happier. Tree frogs (Pseudacris regilla) are not 'pond frogs' and they only use ponds for breeding The rest of the time they hang out on dry land looking for food. So placing the tree frog into your pond only annoyed it and it crawled back out to dry land where it wanted to be in the first place.

2. Use less pesticides in your garden. Pesticides that kill insects (insecticides) deplete the food sources that tree frogs need to survive. In addition many pesticides directly harm amphibians if it comes into contact with their skin.

Here is a publication from the University of Wisconsin Extension that gives a hint of the dangers of pesticides:

3. Leave frogs alone... they know what's best for them. Many well meaning people try to move frogs from one location to another. The simple fact is most animals that are moved, even a few miles die. They are adapted to the microclimate they naturally occur in. In addition, moving animals around spreads disease. This is why it is a bad idea and illegal to buy and sell native fauna.

In your specific case, you found a frog in your garden which means it is happy there. In addition, if there is one there are more. Put some plants in your pond so they have a place to attach their eggs masses, add plants near the edge of the pond for cover and in a year or two you just might find them breeding in your garden.

As for the advice that if you get tadpoles they will stay; I am sure the person who told you that was well-meaning. But stick to research based information.

Thanks for caring so much about frogs.

Great info. I’ll buy some plants for the pond and put out hiding places too. I don’t have much hope for frogs and now I hear even insects are going extinct, the human population will destroy the planet. Thank you!