By Madison Pravecek
We are well past Memorial Day which means one thing for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere: pool season! While you may be really excited to use your personal or community pool, for many small animals pools can be quite treacherous. When frogs, chipmunks, salamanders, insects, or other animals enter a pool, they instinctively swim toward the pool wall attempting to escape; however, pool walls are usually too slippery for the trapped animals to escape. When the animal gets exhausted from swimming around the pool, it typically either drowns or gets sucked into the skimmer basket. It’s for this reason that Rich Mason, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invented the FrogLog, a device that enables animals trapped in pools to escape! When the animals bump into this device (seen in the picture above), they crawl onto the mesh landing strip, move onto the foam pad, proceed up the ramp and are able to escape.
Mason started creating the FrogLog in 2014 as a passion project. An avid animal lover, he would help people who found that animals were trapped in their pool and noted that while people are used to seeing frogs in their pool, they would often be unnerved at seeing drowned chipmunks. He explained that some homeowners would “even find a family because the young chipmunks aren’t as wary as their parents. In the Southwest, it’s lizards, desert rats and scorpions. In California, I have several customers who get ducklings in the pool that can’t get out. I’ve even had someone in Florida who has had larger animals like armadillos and possums in their pool.”
Why This Matters: The last thing a pool-goer wants to do is endanger local wildlife–the FrogLog is a simple and innovative way to protect animals. Since Mason started the project 15 years ago, it is estimated that the FrogLog has saved more than one million animals! Especially since biodiversity loss as a result of human activity is an urgent threat, we need to do everything in our power to protect the animals in our own communities. Some other examples of this type of protection include growing pollinator gardens, encouraging your community to build a wildlife crossing, disinfecting bird baths and eliminating the use of pesticides and herbicides–read more tips here!
Interested in buying a FrogLog for your pool? They can be ordered here.