June 8, 2021
I believe it was first suggested by Ranger Robert. I think I heard it secondhand from another ranger. However it got started, I began my part by doing a bit of research on various types and installations of the devices. Eventually, I put in a work order for three of them, three tree frog pipes.
You can make a variety of types and sizes of tree frog pipes. It all depends upon the space you have available. There are fence-mounted pipes, tree-hanging pipes, and pipes that can be driven into the ground. The pipes can be 1” in diameter or as much as 2” or more. They can be a foot long or four feet long. And, they can be painted (outside only) or left “pvc” white.
I decided on 1 1/2” pvc in three different lengths, 4 foot, 5 foot and 6 foot. One end of the pipe was cut off at an angle of about a foot, providing a sharp point to be driven into the ground. I was happy to leave the pipe natural pvc white, but Exhibits Tech Jill thought what has become her trademark tree bark finish on the outside of the pipes would look nice.
The pipes are meant to attract tree frogs and provide a safe and secure location for them to spend the day while awaiting the nighttime breeding sessions of the frogs. Our common tree frogs here at the museum are Cope’s gray and green treefrogs. Tree frogs spend most of their day huddled into a crevice, under tree bark, under umbrellas or behind wall-mounted signs here at the museum. When rain comes heavy or nighttime falls, out they come to find mates.
Using the pipes may help determine what species are present, and what habitats they prefer. And, it gives the staff and museum guests a glimpse at something they might not see on a regular basis as they look down into the pipes and see a tree frog staring back at them.
The experimental pipes are currently set up at the retention pond in Earth Moves in Catch the Wind, Water’s Edge in Explore the Wild, and next to the Troodons on the Dino Trail. They’re all easily accessed. It’s a little difficult to see deep into the pipes, but I’ve used the light on my cell phone to have a peek.
Each experimental pipe was placed in a location which had known or suspected populations of tree frogs. They may, in the future, be moved to other locations and may or may not become permanent fixtures.
So far we’ve managed to attract a green treefrog in the pipe at the Troodon Exhibit on the Dino Trail.