Frogs in Sydney
Often heard but rarely seen, 34 species of frogs live in Sydney. Their natural habitat includes wetlands and marshes, but frogs can adapt and make garden ponds or wastewater ponds on industrial sites their homes.
Frogs are great for your garden and home. They eat insects like houseflies and maggots, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and spiders.
Frogs can travel large distances to find food and suitable habitats to live. They live on land but return to water to breed.
Frog populations are declining around the world for a range of reasons, including habitat loss and disease. Frogs absorb oxygen and other compounds through their skin. This makes them sensitive to pesticides, herbicides and skin conditions such as chytrid fungus.
In Australia, the introduced and widespread plague minnow (Gambusia holbrooki) fish eat frogspawn and tadpoles, which puts further pressure on frog populations.
Native frogs and other animals are also impacted by the introduced cane toad. Cane toads are sometimes mistaken for native frogs, but there are some easy ways to identify a cane toad.
What frog is that?
The Australian Museum has developed the FrogID citizen science project to help identify and map different frog species by the unique sounds they make or their ‘audio DNA’.
Each frog species has a unique call, which is used by male frogs to attract females of the same species. These calls are often the most accurate way to identify frog species in the wild as many frogs look similar. You can:
Frogs to watch and listen for in your garden
You may hear frogs in your garden at night. That’s the male announcing to the female that he’s found a good place for egg laying.
Frogs you’re most likely to see in your garden or local bush include the common eastern froglet, striped marsh frog, the eastern dwarf tree frog and Peron’s tree frog.
Common calls include:
- the striped marsh frog, which has a ‘tock’ call, and sounds a little like a dripping tap
- the common eastern froglet goes ‘crick-crick-crick’.
Listen to more native frog calls.
Help save Sydney’s frogs
You can help frogs in Sydney by doing a few simple things:
- Plant shrubs and groundcover close together in your garden to protect frogs as they feed and move around.
- Build a frog pond in your garden using frog-friendly plants – find out how with this short guide.
- Keep your cats indoors, especially at night when most frogs are active. Put a collar with a bell on your cat.
- Look out for frogs when driving in the rain at night and slow down to allow them to jump across the road.
- Join your local bushcare group and help restore vegetation around local creeks and rivers
- Don’t pollute waterways – wash your car on the lawn, and don’t put oils, paints, and petrochemicals down the drain.
- Don’t touch frogs, or release frogs or tadpoles into other ponds or wetlands – this will help prevent the spread of diseases.
- Download the FrogID app to identify the frogs in your garden and help count Australia’s frogs.
- Map sightings of feral animals in your area.