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

Bullfrog, Vancouver Island, BC
Bullfrog, Vancouver Island, BC, photo courtesy of the I.S.C.

Bullfrogs are usually 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.

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 20th 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.

Bullfrog, Vancouver Island, BC
Bullfrog, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By S. Price, Courtesy Of The I.S.C.

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. 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.

Bullfrog Tadpole, Vancouver Island, BC
Bullfrog Tadpole, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Night hunters, 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.

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