Gray Treefrogs are now “at home” at Mount Auburn Cemetery

September 15, 2016

This is the final year of the Gray Treefrog Re-introduction Project at Mount Auburn Cemetery. In 2014 and 2015 more than two thousand Gray Treefrog tadpoles were collected locally and released at the Dell Pond.

In 2015 calling male Gray Treefrogs were heard for the first time, indicating that some of the released tadpoles had survived and grown to breeding age. However, it is doubtful that any breeding actually occurred as no tadpoles were found in the Dell Pond.

Gray Treefrog tadpole photographed on July 9th, 2016 at the Dell Pond.

Gray Treefrog tadpole photographed on July 9th, 2016 at the Dell Pond.

Calling male Gray Treefrogs were heard again this Spring 2016 at the Dell Pond. This time they bred with mature females as evidenced by the capture in July of several Gray Treefrog tadpoles in the Dell Pond.

And on August 12th two recently metamorphosed Gray Treefrogs were discovered along the shore of the Dell Pond. One was sitting on an arrowhead leaf. On August 16th another metamorph was seen on a fern frond that bordered the pond.

Gray Treefrog metamorph photographed on August 12th, 2016 at the Dell Pond.

Gray Treefrog metamorph photographed on August 12th, 2016 at the Dell Pond.

These are the first known Gray Treefrogs of the re-introduction project that can claim the cemetery as their birthplace! Gray Treefrogs are now the third re-introduced amphibian species, following American Toads and Spring Peepers, to breed at the Dell Pond within the past 5 years.

For the next few years all three species will be monitored to determine how well they are faring within the cemetery.


Article by Joe Martinez, consulting herpetologist.

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