Backyard wetlands. Ku-ring-gai, NSW.
Wetlands can come in all shapes and sizes. This is an example of one of the “wetlands” used by Ku-ring-gai Council in their Backyard Buddies program. The idea is to create an elevated frog pond that can be used by tree frog species (i.e. Litoria spp.) and less likely to be used by the Striped Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes peronii), a ground dwelling native frog that tends to displace other local species from backyard ground ponds.
With just a few native plants added along with a rock and/or branch or two, the ponds have been successful in providing habitat for frogs.
One of the major concerns was that these habitats would provide suitable conditions for pest mosquitoes. However, in the surveys I conducted as part of a study with the local council, we foudn that the abundance of mosquitoes fluctuated over the course of the summer as mosquito predators naturally colonised the habitats. Most commonly, thsoe predators included the predator mosquitoes Toxorhynchites speciosis and Lutzia halifaxii but dragonfly and mayfly larvae were also collected on occasion.