Lismore Garden Club News

Frogs have coexisted with humanity since time on earth began. Most of us can remember having frogs in our gardens and in our lives since we were very small. Indeed, children hold a particular fascination for frogs. However, we are not seeing the number of frogs that we used to see years ago. The sudden and dramatic disappearance of frogs is not just restricted to Lismore or indeed even Australia it is worldwide. Even though research has been done, no-one is really sure of the reason for the decline and in many cases the complete extinction of many species. An exotic virus has been suggested as the possible cause of the decline. Other contributing factors include displacement through the destruction of habitat and their sensitivity to waterborne pollutants. Also it is thought that the introduced mosquito fish (Gambusia) eats frog eggs while cane toads compete unfairly with frogs for food. This is most alarming because frogs play an important role in the balance of nature in our gardens and in the wider environment.

Each one of us can play a part in giving the frogs in our garden a helping hand to survive by not using chemical sprays and by installing a simple frog breeding pond. Even if you havent seen frogs in your garden you will be amazed how they will suddenly appear if you provide a pond with some aquatic plants for cover. When you install the pond it is important not to put fish in it as they will eat the frog eggs.

The Lismore Garden Club is taking a coach trip to Boambie on Sunday, March 25, to see three beautiful big gardens that are on show as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme. The cost is $35pp. Phone me now on 6624 7422 or 0421 021 451 to book as seats are limited. For further information on the club, phone Wally on 6624 1125 or Dorothy 6621 4100.

Finally: Frogs are the canary in the mineshaft of our environment. If they are in trouble, this is a certain indicator that our environment as a whole is in trouble.

Happy gardening

Ron Burns

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