There are a range of lizards that may be seen in gardens from the small garden skink to the larger blue-tongue lizard or Jacky lizard. It is important to have your pets under control so vulnerable wildlife is not killed.

Lizard habitat may be created from a layer of mulch, logs, rocks & plants. Lizards are cold-blooded, and they cannot control their own body temperature and need to bask in the sun or lie on warm surfaces to absorb energy from the sun. This is why logs, rocks and basking places are important.

Lizards eat small berries, insects, snails, worms and beetles. Avoid using snail bait as we don't want lizards eating poisoned snails. If snails are a problem try putting out a saucer of beer or collecting and squashing the snails on a rainy night.

Fact sheets about reptiles

Make a skink shelter

Garden Skinks


Garden Skink

Jacky Lizard

leaf litter is great for lizards and some of their prey.


Often frogs are considered indicators of a healthy environment. As they have a permeable skin they are highly sensitive to environmental change. Some frogs though, will tolerate a less healthy environment and can be found breeding in roadside ditches or boggy areas. A better guide to the health of your environment would be to see which species are present and how many different species there are in your area and whether they are breeding.

More about Victorian frogs including the different sounds they make. link

If you want to identify frog calls or contribute to citizen science download the FrogID app see below

What do frogs need?

Different species of frogs may have different requirements but the points listed below give an idea of what the common ones need:

  • Fresh water, some frogs need access to water for breeding

  • A pond that isn’t in full sun or full shade

  • Easy access to get out of the water for froglets - have a stick or small branch to allow access out of the water.

  • Leaf litter and moist areas around the area of the pond

  • Plan a pond with different water levels, allowing tadpoles to escape environmental extremes and select their preferred temperature.

  • At least part of the bank should be gently sloping.

  • Place rocks and/or logs in and at the edges of the pond to provide sites for adult frogs and tadpoles to seek shelter and forage, for egg attachment and calling.

  • When planting out a pond, create a diversity of different microhabitats using plants of a variety of different lifeforms and growth habits.

  • Breeding habitat for most frogs generally improves with increasing submerged (underwater) vegetation cover.

  • Aquatic and bog plants can be grown in slits in hessian sacks that have been filled with soil and stitched at the open end, or plant pots with pebbles on top to stop the potting mix from floating away. Generally avoid fertilisers.

  • Keep at last half of the water surface exposed to let in sunlight for enhanced underwater plant growth and as tadpoles generally develop faster in warmer water.

  • Submerged branches

  • Places to hide and protection from predators like birds, snakes and cats.

  • Native vegetation like grassy tussocks, water plants

  • Partly submerged rocks and logs

  • Damp areas for burrowing

  • Food - tadpoles feed on decaying plant matter and froglets and frogs feed on mosquitoes, vinegar flies, slaters, earwigs, grasshoppers, crickets and spiders

*Credit to Monique Decortis for her article in Gardens for Wildlife Facebook Group 3/6/22 about frog ponds

plant indigenous water plants

frog spawn attached to water plants

floating plants provide good cover to tadpoles

pond may become a design feature as well as habitat


You will need a range of plants to landscape the area.

Underwater oxygenators like Myriophyllum sp.

Leaves that float on the surface

Ones that rise out of the water

And ones that grow on the edges and in boggy areas

Keep 2/3 of the water surface free of plants

There are several nurseries in the Ballarat area that sell wetland plants. Ballarat Wild Plants Nursery has a range of indigenous plants for planting in water and around a pond. Below is a list of wetland plants.

wetland plant list and descriptions.docx

Things to Avoid

  • Don't position the pond near berry plants or deciduous plants or pines. Too much plant matter will drop into the pond and rot

  • Do not have toxic plants like oleander near the pond

  • Chemicals like herbicides, detergents and fertilizers will kill frogs

  • A pond in full sun will grow too much algae

  • Avoid planting too much taller, dense vegetation that might over shade the water, especially on the north side of the pond. Plants like cumbungi and common reed (phragmites) get too big and invasive for small garden ponds.

  • Keep ponds secure from cats as they may hunt for frogs and small lizards attracted to the rocks.

  • Frogs are noisy so don't put a frog pond under your bedroom window

  • Don’t add floating water plants like duckweed or azolla that will block out the light from the pond and reduce the oxygen levels. Saying that it is sometimes hard to stop them getting into a pond and you may have to just scoop them out and turn them into compost.

  • Remember some water plants (like water hyacinth) are noxious weeds and are not permitted to be sold or grown in Victoria.

  • Do not collect tadpoles or frogs and introduce them into your pond. The Wildlife Act 1975 protects all wildlife including frogs, tadpoles and eggs

  • Chytrid fungus - Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease that affects amphibians (frogs) worldwide. If you go for a walk around a wetland, disinfect your footwear before and after walking.

  • Avoid handling frogs.

Ponds provide a lot of habitat for a range of insects, lizards and frogs

Pobblebonk recovering after being dug up in the garden

Ewings tree frog hiding in a pipe

Ewings tree frog relaxing in a vegetable garden

Fish and Frogs

Most fish will eat tadpoles

Never collect fish from local creeks and lakes and put them in your pond. Mosquito Fish, Gambusia affinis, is a small introduced fish that damages the environment and is almost impossible to get rid of.

Don’t put gold fish in your pond if you want to breed frogs. If possible choose a small native fish


Children are attracted to water features so make sure the pond area is safe.