A Ribbeting Tale of Invasion: The American Bull Frog

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Did you know that this invasive amphibian was brought to Western Washington to be your dinner?!? That’s right, the American Bullfrog, Lithobates (Rana) Catesbeiana, is native to Eastern North America and was brought west as a cheap food source. The largest North American frog, it can jump up to 3 feet and grow to weigh one pound. An adult female frog can lay 20,000 eggs at one time.
 

True carnivores, bullfrogs are harmful to native frog populations because they eat other frogs as well as tadpoles. They are ferocious, nocturnal predators that will ambush their prey after remaining silent and still for long periods of time. Bullfrogs also eat salamanders, mice, ducklings, snakes, and anything they can fit into their mouths. They have few native predators here in Washington.
Well-known for their distinctive call, bullfrogs can often be heard in the early morning or late evening. They prefer open, flat ponds.

 

We can help reduce bullfrog populations by promoting habitat for their predators like River Otters and Great Blue Herons. By keeping healthy riparian corridors and promoting native species habitat we can also reduce the pressure Bullfrog populations are putting on our native amphibians.

 

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