Bullfrog

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Frogs, Pacific Northwest

The BullFrog is an invasive species that is taking over ponds, lakes and streams in Pacific Northwest
Bullfrog, photo courtesy of the I.S.C.

These giant bullfrogs are showing up all over the Coastal Region and they just may be spreading a deadly disease to other native frog species. The Bullfrog itself, is unaffected by this disease.

Bullfrogs are usually a green to grayish brown color with brown spots, they have easily identifiable circular eardrums like the bronze frog, these are located just behind the eyes on either side of their heads.

The Bullfrog is a very large invasive frog that eats everything that can fit into its mouth
Bullfrog, Photo By S. Price, Courtesy Of The I.S.C.

A recent study has found that these frogs can be carriers of the fungus batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is lethal to our local frogs and lizards. This fungus was introduced to the region during the mid 20 century, when African bullfrogs were used to test for pregnancy. The frogs themselves are unaffected by the fungus but it is wiping out many other species of frogs around the world.

Native frogs have been declining in numbers in North America and the bullfrog may well be part of the problem, more study needs to be done before we run into a serious problem.

Bullfrog Tadpole, they are quite large
Bullfrog Tadpole, Photo By Bud Logan

Bullfrogs can become a real problem to deal with when they get established somewhere, we need to implement stronger control measures before they get fully established here. On Vancouver Island, the Bull Frog has reached the Campbell River area on its way to pioneering the whole island.

Night hunters, they prefer to hunt at night, they will ambush and eat anything that they can fit in their gaping mouths, this includes insects, fish, birds, small rodents, other frogs and snakes. They will sit  and wait for prey to come into range, then with their powerful hind legs, they will lunge at the prey with mouths wide open to swallow their prey.