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Ministry of Environment

Safe Frogwatching

Rough-skin Newt (Taricha granulosa)

Of course, any time you are out in the countryside, you will want to take some basic precautions. We just want to remind you of a few of them!

  • Never frogwatch alone, especially if you are some distance from a road. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
  • Don’t wade out into ponds or marshes – you will scare the frogs, and there is the risk that you may slip and fall into the water.
  • Make sure dogs are leashed – better still, leave them at home. They will frighten off the frogs as well.
  • Keep a close eye on your children.
  • Have a first aid kit in the car, and a change of clothes just in case you do get wet.
  • Watch for stinging insects such as wasps. Never step on logs or over them without looking, as you may put your foot straight into a wasp nest on the ground. This is not fun at all! If you have an allergy to stings, be absolutely sure you have your sting kit with you.
  • If you want to frogwatch on private land, ask permission from the landowner first.
  • For the safety of our froggy friends, avoid picking up the amphibians you see. Their permeable skin can absorb toxins from your hands and they can overheat or dry out quickly – even something like sunscreen can cause them real problems. Human skin is tougher than we think, and amphibian skin is very fragile.
  • Wash and disinfect your boots and gear when you move between ponds. In recent years, we have come to realize that people can inadvertently move diseases, parasites and invasive species between ponds if they do not disinfect between sites. Follow the Hygiene Protocol.

Photo © Heather Waye. No reproduction or distribution without permission.