August 19, 2014 12:34 am

Bullfrogs disrupting sleep and quiet in a Richmond neighbourhood

Sleep deprivation is becoming a problem for some residents in Richmond as a growing chorus of bullfrogs is keeping people up at night.

Residents say the bullfrogs living in a slough along the Richmond dyke have become an issue, especially during the mating season.

The deep bass mating call of American bullfrogs resonates across the city like a legion of tubas and for some residents, it’s too much.

They say the non-native species’ noisy population boom is making life unbearable.

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“It is a very loud sound,” says Steveston resident Shannon Dublanica. “We have a bunch of males trying to attract the females and they sing in chorus. It does keep you awake at night.”

Dublanica says for nine weeks every summer she keeps her windows closed and wears ear plugs at night to block out the mating calls.

She says the amphibians are taking over.

“And now it is like the population has tripled since last year. It just seems to be getting worse,” says Dublanica.

Bullfrogs are an invasive species imported to B.C. after the Second World War to feed the appetite for frog legs, but their spread into lakes and waterways has caused trouble for native animals.

“They tend to eat almost anything,” says Dr. Dennis Thoney, Vancouver Aquarium Director of Animal Operations. “They will eat small birds, mice, little snakes…they will eat anything that will get into their mouth. And they have ferocious appetites, so they eat a lot.”

Thoney says the bullfrogs pose a threat to some frog species native to B.C.

The Ministry of Environment does recognize bullfrogs as a threat, but says getting rid of them would be too costly and would have limited impact in areas like Richmond.

With files from Tanya Beja

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