“Bullfrog biologist Stan Orchard needs provincial and regional funding to continue eradicating ravenous American bullfrogs and green frogs who’ve invaded many Cowichan waterways, including Somenos Lake” - News Leader, August 11, 2007
“Langford keeps bullfrog program afloat: Biologist hopes to keep invasive species in check” - Times-Colonist, August 13, 2007
"Cash needed to kill frogs" - News Leader Pictorial, August 25, 2007
"Bullfrog alert sent out on island" - Gulf Islands Driftwood, September 12, 2007
"Bullfrog sightings needed for a map" - Gulf Islands Driftwood, September 12, 2007
"Giant frogs eat anything" - Oceanside Star, November 29, 2007
"Cowichan residents don't have to go the way of the frog" - Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial, March 1, 2008
"No rogue frogs here North Saanich council supports eradication before invasive species head north" - Peninsula News Review, March 12, 2008
"Big, bad and here to stay" - Surrey North Delta Leader, July 29, 2008
"Culling Kermit, one zap at a time" - Globe and Mail, Section L:1 & 3, September 5, 2008
"Voracious frogs invade mid-Island" - Daily News, September 9, 2008
"Alien Invaders - A Losing Battle: Foreign species are wreaking havoc on our ecosystem" - The Province, September 21, 2008
"Invaders among us: Invasive species are a serious threat to biodiversity - and the problem is growing" - The Province, September 21, 2008
"Richter aims to stop bullfrog invasion" - Langley Times, October 7, 2008
"Winning the war on the bullfrog" - Goldstream News Gazette, October 30, 2008
"Bullfrog battle taking on military overtones" - Times-Colonist, January 22, 2009 (A5)
"Invasive amphibians have helping hand in Metchosin" - Goldstream News Gazette, February 13, 2009
"Big frog in Metchosin second runner up" - Goldstream News Gazette, February 18, 2009 (Letters)
"Bullfrog man calls bull" - Saanich News, February 20, 2009
"Bullfrog expert calls bull on alternate theory" - Victoria News, February 25, 2009
"Frogman cries bull on gov't theories" - Goldstream Gazette, February 25, 2009
"The American Bullfrog: BULLFROGS! One Hungry Intruder with a Big Mouth" - Metchosin Muse, March 2009:18
"Forbearance on Bear Mountain" - Goldstream News Gazette, March 17, 2009
"B.C. says threat from bullfrog overblown" - Times-Colonist, June 21, 2009: A5
Bullfrog man calls bull on theories about invasive amphibians
By Roszan Holmen - Saanich News
Published: February 21, 2009 12:00 PM Updated: February 22, 2009 9:55 AM
Stan the bullfrog man is ready to set loose his electro-frogger on Saanich, should he convince funding bodies to buy into his plan.
American bullfrogs are an invasive species that is decimating the native frog population, explained the bullfrog man, AKA Stan Orchard. He used to run the amphibian program at the Royal B.C. Museum and has spent the last four years eradicating the massive invaders using his patented system.
To kill bullfrogs, Orchard’s assistants go hunting at night, shocking the adult amphibians, freezing them and donating them to worthy groups. Since 2005, they’ve killed 10,000.
Starting with the West Shore, Orchard’s plan is to systematically eradicate the bullfrogs, moving east until he chokes out the last invasive ribbit in Greater Victoria.
It’s a plan whose success contradicts the findings of another local bullfrog expert with the B.C. Ministry of Environment.
“Our working hypothesis now is where bullfrogs are established, it’s probably cost prohibitive for us to eradicate,” said Purnima Govindarajulu, who recently completed her PhD. at the University of Victoria in bullfrog control.
She estimates complete eradication in Greater Victoria would cost about $1 million annually.
Instead, she promotes a policy of controlling the population’s spread. This can be done by blocking the frogs’ travelling corridors, educating the public against introducing them into new areas and restoring natural habitat to support native frog species. Killing adult bullfrogs -- as Orchard does -- may be counterproductive because they eat their young, thereby controlling their own numbers, she said. Instead, she says culling efforts should focus on juvenile frogs.
Orchard, however, calls this hypothesis patently ridiculous.
“Bullfrogs are in huge numbers and they’re expanding their distribution -- obviously there is something flawed in that assessment.”
The conflicting opinions leaves those responsible to protect Saanich’s lakes and ponds in a dilemma.
“We’re caught by that quandary,” confirmed Terry Morrison, executive director of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill nature sanctuary. “We want to tread cautiously especially if we’re putting very scarce resources into a project like this.”
Swan Lake has an emerging bullfrog problem, which started two or three years ago, he confirmed. For now, Morrison’s plan is to experiment with fish traps to catch some frogs inexpensively.
As a municipality, Saanich staff approved funding for Orchard’s research from 2004 through 2006.
Saanich’s environmental services manager Adriane Pollard said the municipality would consider future funding requests from Orchard, if it had a body of supporting data.
“We’re not for or against killing bullfrogs, we just think it hasn’t been shown either way to be appropriate,” she said.
It’s a response Orchard says he’s getting more and more from municipalities as Govindarajulu’s findings reach a wider audience.
In defence of his work, Orchard said the evidence is in the numbers, which he hopes to publish in the near future.
He points to Langford as a successful case study. Over two years, his team hunted bullfrogs in Glen Lake on 32 nights. Population numbers dropped from 1,376 to none by the end of 2008. He predicts none will show up come April, when bullfrogs emerge from their winter stupor.
Successful eradication, however, requires no frog sightings for at least five years, Govindarajulu said. Time will tell whether Orchard’s initial successes will stick.
Meanwhile, he hopes to continue his work in Saanich with or without funding by the municipality. Beaver ponds, Prospect Lake, Hartland landfill settling ponds, the viaduct flats and others all have well-established or newly establishing bullfrog populations.
The Capital Regional District has funded Orachard’s work since 2005 to the tune of $30,000 annually.
“I think (Orchard’s) doing a wonderful job,” said Vicki Sanders, Saanich councillor appointed to the CRD water commission. “The big thing is that he’s keeping them out of the water shed and that’s what it’s about.”
Stan A. Orchard
BullfrogControl.com Inc. 69A Burnside Road West
Victoria , British Columbia V9A 1B6 Phone: 250-858-FROG (3764)