Juliet Coombe talks to her son Samad about his amazing frog watching tour with Jetwing St. Andrew’s Naturalist Ishanda, who is bringing out a book on the most exciting of the amphibians the common toad and the more exotic Hill Country frog species
Samad explains after swapping our torches around in the group until my little brother Amzar was happy he had the best one, we headed up through the vegetable garden to find the frogs. There are 10 species on the tour and we can find four of them in the Jetwing St Andrew’s garden. I like the Common House Toad. The female is three times bigger than the male. It’s exciting to find the frogs in the conservation area by torchlight and we have to be careful and quiet not to scare them. My brother has to get the best view but I can see clearly the frog’s eggs on the heart shaped leaves. Ishanda our brilliant naturalist guide told us that this keeps the eggs safe from being eaten on the ground as they slide down straight into the water when they are ready to hatch.
I also like the clicking sounds they make. We also see a wall with frogs on it and spend a lot of time looking under things to find the rare ones. I felt like a treasure hunter turning the stones over and finding tiny frogs the size of my fingernail, it felt like one of my mum’s fairy tales.
We then climbed 2,000 steps to discover new frog varieties high up in the forest bit and we did in the end find a ‘leaf-nesting shrub frog’, which is difficult as they are so well camouflaged. We also saw stick insects, a sleeping lizard – when it woke up it immediately caught an insect with its shooting tongue, which made us all laugh. By the time we got to the top we had found the main six frog varieties. I was a bit sad because I wanted to find all seven. We started to come down again, when my brother after much looking found one tinier frog called the ‘Horton Plains Shrub frog’, which Ishanda says, is very rare. Sadly my mum would not kiss them so we could not see if they would turn into prince or not.
“When we conserve frogs, we can protect all wild life and eco systems.” Since frogs have two part of life cycle both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, it is important to protect and restore both terrestrial and aquatic habitats to conserve these unique animals. It’s up to us protect frogs!