Frogs Breeding

A few months ago, I collected a load of tadpoles from a local pond, and kept them in a bucket on my patio. After they had metamorphosed into frogs, I went to return them to the pond, but it had totally dried up, so I put them into a nearby lake instead. It is a Well Known Fact that frogs wander, then return to their home pond after a few years to breed. Will my frogs return to the first pond, my bucket, or the final lake?

Now IANAH, but still … Never heard that claim. “Frogs” include hundreds and thousands of species, some of whom make their own “pond”, many who take a chance on a temporary puddle (that might dry out, but will have fewer predators), and I wouldn’t be surprised if all frogs just use whatever pond or puddle is at hand.


Frogs and toads have very much different habits. I suspect that what you have is toads. From what i have seen growing up around toads they tend to disperse over a small area that might be a few hundred yards in any direction. Once a pond fills up and a toad finds the pond he starts calling attracting other toads back to the pond. If a new pond is formed toads will quickly move in to breed if they stumble onto it.

Frogs and frogs have very much different habits, depending on species, and:

Taking an aquatic species and transferring it to an different waterbody than it came from on a whim could have got you a $100,000 fine where I live, and for good reason. Our government recently spent well into 6 figures removing an invasive aquatic species from a pond that someone dumped some fish out of unfounded sympathy for the poor things. Please don’t play ecological experiments for amusement; it can cause millions of dollar of damage and have irreversible effects on the environment.

Putting newts and frogs, all native to the UK, that were spawned in one pond back into another about a mile away likely to cause damage measured in million of pounds? Likely to have irreversible effects on the environment?? I suggest mmmiiikkkeee tries to develop the sense of proportion which he or she currently lacks.

Although such laws are important and it might also apply to amphibian species, I think that would be more to avoid loopholes and that moving frogs around in your immediate neighbourhood is not going to cause any harm the frogs couldn’t cause themselves by just taking a walk.

Your situation is not the situation the law was created for, but it might still be subject to the law anyway.

There are no laws in the UK about dumping native reptiles in ponds - in fact, depending on the reptile and how rare it is, I might get brownie points for diversification of habitat. Re-reading, the original, ill-thought out criticism, they were not dumped “on a whim”. It was a carefully thought out plan to give the frogs and newts a chance of life. If they had been left in the original pond, they would have died when the pond dried out.

Frogs aren’t reptiles, they’re amphibians. And yes, multiple species of both reptile and amphibian are protected by law, and removing them from the wild or intentionally disturbing their habitat is illegal under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Yes, moving frogs around is definitely discouraged. It’s thought to be one factor in the spread of ranavirus, which is causing significant die-offs of British amphibians, as well as potentially other diseases.

Infected adults are unlikely to be healthy enough to travel several miles by themselves, however ‘helpfully’ rehoming tadpoles can infect new areas that infected frogs would be too unhealthy to reach.