I made a frog pond and had a rock-ramp, but one day when I was cleaning it I saw a dead mouse in it. I think the mouse might have drowned, is there anything I can do to improve the ramp or make it easier to get out of the pond?!
Maybe someone from the Building a pond for wildlife observation - Tips and ideas? can help?
A few more rocks to make a sloping ‘beach’ on one side
In the West, where we have metal stock tanks for cattle, an escape ramp is often constructed of stiff wire mesh that is attached to the top edge of the tank and slopes down into water. The mesh gives more traction/purchase for a small animal to grab on and crawl up out of the tank. I’ve also seen rock ramps used, like yours.
How big is your pond? If its very big (relative to a mouse’s size) it may not be enough with only one exit ramp. I’d advice having one slope every few meters just to be safe (or make one side of the pond naturally lower, like a beach) and adding some branches or a log at the sides of it.
Some swampland area may also be beneficial cause the smaller animals could just drink from there instead of having to make their way to the border of the pond, but that would mean having some permanent or semi-permanent waterlogged area.
You could also add something like this:
Hope this helps!
They are most likely to swim around the edge looking for a way out.
Make the ramp parallel to the sides going down in both directions as well as straight out into the center. You may need more that one depending on size.
I have a small pond, and the pond liner was built before I moved into the house. It is pretty steep, with 4 narrow ledges that are closer to the surface. Thanks for all of your suggestions!
Are the edges of your pond completely vertical? If yes, that’s a pretty big problem if wildlife accessibility is your goal.
Not completely vertical, but close to it
Update: I added some hornwort from a nearby swamp, and that added some little bug-things, but something that COULD be a problem is that it’s very small and a bullfrog found the swamp. Could that be detrimental to the pond, and if so, what can I do about it?
I would welcome a frog
Alright, thanks! I was just wondering if a big bullfrog could be a problem, I love frogs!
Unless you know it is an invasive alien problem? Otherwise it will be part of your local web of life.
Bullfrogs are considered to be a problematic invasive species here in California. I recall a local Boy Scout troop that came in to catch and remove bullfrogs from a small lake in a local park where I used to work.
California’s Invaders: American Bullfrog
Adult American bullfrogs have voracious appetites and will eat anything they can fit into their mouths, including invertebrates, birds, bats, rodents, frogs, newts, lizards, snakes, and turtles. Bullfrog tadpoles mainly eat algae, aquatic plant material, and invertebrates, but they will also eat the tadpoles of other frog species. As a result of these feeding behaviors, all lifestages of bullfrogs prey upon and are able to out-compete native frogs and other aquatic species. Additionally, bullfrogs are a known carrier of chytrid fungus, which causes the potentially fatal skin disease in frogs called chytridiomycosis. Chytridomycosis is believed to be a leading cause of the decline of native amphibian populations all over the world and responsible for the extinction of over 100 species since the 1970s.
I know that in my area, northern Massachusetts, bullfrogs are native.
I did not know bullfrogs could live that far north. They were brought to the Western USA as a food source. I ordered froglegs in a restaurant once. They did taste like chicken, but a little bit tough. Maybe they were over-cooked?
The American bullfrog is considered invasive west of the Rockies in the US and in British Columbia. Why did the frog cross the mountain? Blame it on the Gold Rush. In the late 1800s, after gold miners had eaten the California Red-Legged frog (Rana dratonii) to near-extinction, bullfrogs were brought to California by both private and government efforts. Today the bullfrog has eaten that same native frog back to the same parlous state. In Oregon bullfrog-farming was tried in the 1920s. Though demand died out in the 1930s, the frogs didn’t. You get the picture
Bullfrogs actually are native in some of Canada! However, they have spread through areas in Canada where they are invasive… I used to live in Michigan, and there were native bullfrogs there too.
Here are some critters I found in the pond!