Hop To It – Join the 2012 Irish Frog Watch

Press Release: 30th January 2012.

To mark World Wetlands Day on the 2nd February the Irish Peatland Conservation Council are launching their annual ‘Hop To It Frog Survey’.  The survey of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria) is looking for information on their distribution and habitat preferences in every county in Ireland. Members of the public are asked to send in sightings of frog spawn, tadpoles, froglets and adult frogs. One of the best places to begin your frog watch is in the garden pond. This man-made habitat will probably become increasingly important in future years, as the natural and wild habitats of the frog are lost to drainage and development. February and March are the peak times for frog spawning; although spawning in the south of Ireland may occur in January if the temperature is warm enough. It is essential to monitor frogs as they are barometers of environmental health and much loved creatures of wetlands. You can check out where frogs have been found in your county and get a survey card at www.ipcc.ie. So, Hop To It and record the frogs in your area.

Since the first Hop To It frog survey in 1997, the IPCC has received over 4200 records. Although frogs are in decline worldwide, due to factors such as habitat destruction, pollution and infectious disease, the results of the survey to date show that the Common Frog is widespread throughout the island of Ireland with 40% of records occurring in garden ponds. Areas poorly represented in previous frog surveys include the six counties of Northern Ireland, Laois, Carlow and Leitrim. Therefore, we would especially welcome records from these locations.

We would be delighted if people who sent us records from previous years continued to send us information regarding frog sightings and we would also welcome new participants to this annual survey. If you see any stage of the frog life cycle, please take part in the frog survey by filling out a survey card and returning it to IPCC. “The survey cards are easy to fill out so don’t worry if you are not a herpetologist!”. For those who wish to take part, survey cards are available at www.ipcc.ie or they can be obtained directly from, IPCC, Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, Tel 045-860133.

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