Goals

Goals

  • Using the novel strategy of releasing sterile triploid frogs in the valley of the Grote Nete for combatting the spread of American bullfrogs, as well as reducing their numbers in established populations. This is combined with the traditional control measures in isolated populations. After several years of research, scientists of the PXL University have succeeded in breeding sterile frogs. The sterile tadpoles will be housed in specialized cages in the ponds of Straalmolen in Balen. After they metamorphose into juvenile frogs they are transported to several enclosed ponds in the Scheps nature reserve, where they can mature into adult frogs and later compete with the fertile bullfrogs that were already present. By attempting to fertilise spawn, the sterile males will drastically reduce the number of tadpoles that hatch each season. Therefore this method allows us to effectively reduce population numbers in the most sustainable and animal friendly way.
  • Although the method of releasing sterile animals has been successfully used for insects before, this project represents the first experiment in the world that uses said technique for population management in aquatic animals. Therefore it is imperative that our experiences using this technique will be shared with other organizations around Europe, who are also trying to deal with invasive bullfrogs.
  • As this method is very novel for amphibians, we will research potential policy and legal barriers that might restrict or block the use of said technique and attempt to solve any potential issues for this and future projects.
  • A final important goal is to inform the general public about nature preservation, the impact of invasive species and the necessity of innovative methods for combating invasive species. Gaining public support is essential for the longterm viability of nature preservation projects.