Sardines in the Wetlands?

Off and on all winter, there have been tadpoles concentrating along the shore of the Wetlands between the end of the boardwalk and the main Wetlands Overlook.

Look carefully an you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands, of Bullfrog tadpoles crowded into this little corner of the Wetlands.

Some days the tadpoles are still, but often the water boils with their squirming bodies.

Crammed in like sardines, these tadpoles apparently like company.

Every so often, I catch some of our winter resident mergansers in the area, no doubt taking advantage of the concentrated mass of “food.”

2 responses to Sardines in the Wetlands?

  1. Shawntel says:

    Once all of these tadpoles become bullfrogs what is the life expectancy? Will they migrate to other locations or mostly stay in one place?

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Depending on the reference consulted, anywhere from 4-9 years is listed for the longevity of the frogs. It seems that 6-7 years seems to come up most often when researching their lifespans. A bullfrog’s life as a tadpole can be 1-3 years, so that’s 3-6 years as a frog.
      The juveniles, when they finally become little froglets, usually depart for smaller bodies of water (like the U-shaped pond in Catch the Wind) until large enough to come back to “big” water and establish territories in which to feed and look for a mate.
      Some of our young bullfrogs remain in the Wetlands, I see them throughout the summer and fall, but many of them do move on to locations where there is less competition for food, and where their chances of being eaten themselves is lessened. Hawks, raccoons, herons, fox, and even kingfishers will eat the little guys.
      And certainly, there is a dispersal by some of the frogs to other ponds, which is how they got here in our wetland in the first place.
      Good questions.

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