Cold Weather may Kill Frog Spawn

There are now at least four sets of frog spawn in the office pond, less than was laid this time last year and most certainly, we have not seen as many frogs in the pond as we have on previous spawnings.  The current cold weather does not seem to have disturbed the amphibians too much, day temperatures in this part of England have not exceeded two degrees Celsius and in the easterly wind there has been a considerable chill factor giving the feeling of an air temperature around minus four degrees Celsius throughout the morning and into this afternoon.

Team members from Everything Dinosaur have been inspecting the pond at regular intervals to check on the progress of the frogs – Common Frogs (Rana temporaria), we should not really be surprised that these small creatures are able to tolerate and even breed in these chilly temperatures as this species of frog has a widespread distribution and can be found much further north in Europe.  However, there has not been the mass spawning activity that we have seen in recent years.  This could be down to a number of reasons, it could be because fewer adult frogs survived the winter and into the spring (if that is what you can it at the moment), to breed, or perhaps there have been less females about and the actual spawning season is likely to be prolonged.

With a thin layer of ice on the pond this morning, staff were concerned that some of the freshly laid spawn in the shallows may be frozen and the eggs killed.  We do not normally interfere but on this occasion it was decided to gently relocate the spawn to a slightly deeper area so that it could sink a little and thus avoid becoming exposed to too much of the ice.  We shall monitor the pond and see if the current cold weather and subsequent cold water temperature delays the hatching of the spawn.

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