The secretive Georgia gopher frog
A new group of rare animals now call one of the Georgia eXtremes outdoor habitats home – the Georgia gopher frog. These frogs tend to be on the more secretive side, so don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of minutes to spot some eyes looking back at you from one of their burrows. Guests can find these frogs in the first outdoor habitat attached to the Georgia eXtremes building.
Gopher frogs are native to longleaf pine habitats that are considered fire-maintained communities. This means that fire is a natural part of this cyclical ecosystem and is important when it comes to the success of species like the gopher frog. These amphibians will frequently seek refuge in gopher tortoise burrows (or other small mammal burrows), which is why their habitat at Georgia eXtremes has multiple keeper-made burrows for them to choose from. During breeding season, they make their way to seasonal wetlands where the males will typically hang out near the shoreline calling. A gopher frog call sounds a bit like a snore or low growl and because it is a low frequency, it can carry a long distance.
Most of the concerns wild gopher frogs face can be directly linked to the quality of their habitat. So, when you are more removed from species like these, it can be difficult to think of a way to help. By cutting down on pollution and using more sustainable practices (think reduce, reuse, and recycle), you can help to maintain ecosystems both near and far to your home.
Keeper I, Herpetology