I found a frog – FAQ

General Frog/Toad

I found a frog/toad, what shall I do?

A: Observe it from afar and unless it is in danger, leave it alone. Frogs and toads spend the majority of their life in gardens and sometimes quite far from the nearest body of water. If the animal is trapped or in danger, then release it into a nearby similar habitat. Choose a location that provides cover from predators and extreme weather, such as under a shed or underneath dense foliage.

There are too many frogs/toads in the pond/garden, what shall I do?

A: Nothing! Typically an excess of frogs/toads is due to breeding season. These frogs will travel for quite awhile to end up at the breeding pond in spring and although it may seem ‘overcrowded’ it is completely natural and typical of the amphibian population. Another population surge may happen as the frogs and toads begin to spawn. However this is perfectly normal as their are safety in numbers. You will notice they will begin to disperse in the following days and weeks. Please note that only a few of these babies will survive to return as adults. Do not transfer “extra” frogs or toads from your area. This may unknowingly transfer diseases, and most will try to return back to the original location – which if placed across a road or other treacherous area could lead to death.

There are no frogs/toads in the pond/ garden or the population is declining, what’s going on?

A: The absence of frogs and toads can be due to environmental or weather factors. Frogs and toads start breeding in spring on mild wet evenings. This depends on your location so it will be earlier in the south and later in the northern part of the U.S. Native frog and toad populations fluctuate dramatically from year to year so a couple years of having low numbers is nothing to worry about. Hopefully there are younger frogs who will survive as breeding adults within the next year or two.

Where can I get frogs/toads for my pond/garden?

A: It can take 2+ years for frogs and toads to find your pond, so do not worry if it takes awhile for frogs and toads to find your new pond. Please do NOT transfer frogs from another pond/yard to your pond/yard. This can unknowingly spread diseases and invasive species.

How can I encourage them?

A: Learn how to attract frogs and toads here.

I’ve seen an unusually colored frog/toad, is it sick or something exotic?

A: Odd colored amphibians are typically a native species that simply has unusual coloring. Amphibians coloring is often very variable. This can sometimes make identification difficult, but typically it is a healthy native species rather than anything exotic.

Frog/Toad Injury

I’ve found an injured frog/toad, what can I do for it?

A: Place the frog or toad in a sheltered area of your yard, out of view of predators and extreme weather so it can recover on its own. Dense foliage, dead wood or a compost heap are a good place. Make sure it has the option to move to another area if it wants to. Skin abrasions should heal rather quickly, so by moving the animal to a quiet place where it can recover and eat easily will increase its chances of survival. If it is seriously injured- use the ARAV Find a Vet tool to find your closest vet that has amphibian experience so you do not waste your time going to your neighborhood vet who has never worked with a frog before. Some will treat wild animals for free. Amphibians are very delicate creatures and it is unlikely that a severely damaged animal will be able to be treated and returned to the wild successfully.

I’ve found dead frogs/toads in winter or spring.

A: During winter, frogs and toads should be hibernating, frogs typically overwinter at the bottom of ponds, while toads will bury deep below the frost line. If at any point during winter the pond freezes over there will not be adequate gas exchange and the frog will suffocate. This could also be that on a nice day in winter, the frog or toad came out to forage for food and got caught by an unexpected frost as the cooler weather makes them more slow moving.

What should I do with dead frogs/toads?

A: If they are in a pond, remove it from the pond and bury the body to prevent the spread of disease. Disease is not typically the cause of frog and toad deaths, however it is best to play it safe and bury it so that it cannot be carried off by scavengers or transported to a landfill to infect other populations of healthy amphibians.


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13 thoughts on “I found a frog – FAQ

  1. Is there someone I can send a sound recording to, to identify a frog that is calling in my front yard. I’ve listened to all of the recordings of everything that’s supposed to be in this area and none of them match.

  2. Help! Due to derecho here (Cedar Rapids, IA) on Aug 10, 2020, lost 4 trees in yard, including 3 large white pines. Recently had stumps ground out, While raking pine wood chips, needles, etc, discovered 2 toads! Coming week plan is to have small skidloader scoop up debris clutter to haul away, but I want to protect any toads (maybe from some tadpoles I rescued last summer?). What’s best way to shelter or temporarily house our toads? Thinking shovel some debris into large plastic tubs and loosely cover, keep in corner of yard until “safe”? Birds & other wildlife have taken hit since we lost ~70% of our tree canopy; our yard plans include replanting to be nature friendly, but don’t want to harm what’s left in meantime or while we do our projects! Thanks for your help!

      1. Thanks! Then whenever the landscape people come (long waiting lists…), I will look for the toads in the stump areas again to pick up and put in their plastic “resort”. If I can’t find them at that time, I’ll assume they’ve moved out of the project zone…

  3. I’m a brand new frogger! Wonder if this little guy (found up on my deck cozy in the webbing if a folding chair!) might be a grey tree frog? I put him down on my scrap wood pile – his color quickly faded to match those of the logs…
    Cant post a photo, can I… he was bright green on the back, grey on the sides… no toe webbing I could see, VERY soft!
    Up in (Vernon) northern Sussex County, NJ.

  4. Good morning. I have a question about the ID of a frog I photographed yesterday here in Leelanau County Michigan. Thank you, – Bob Jones

  5. Hey, froglady! Hi! I grew up in Tigard, along the shores of Fanno Creek, and actually had a large backwaters pond in my backyard with rough skinned newts, Leopards, and red legs (devastatingly, it was backfilled and destroyed for a neighborhood development when I was in the 2nd grade). Just crushing to witness as a 2nd grader, to see the death of my backyard pond…

    I have a question! At least once a year I take my kids up to frog lake to experience the magic of the hatch, and from what I can gather, they are Rocky Mountain tailed frogs? Is that correct? I’ve been looking for confirmation, but I can’t find any place authoritative, and so I’m turning to the frog lady!

  6. I found a small powder white frog in my back yard on my grill in Warner Robins, GA. I cannot find it online. Any ideas?

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