What is the Bullfrogs and Biodiversity Program?

The Bullfrogs and Biodiveristy program works to protect local species and ecosystems at risk by learning about Bullfrog threats and how to address them. We engage in Bullfrog control in Chilliwack’s Ryder Lake neighbourhood to collect species-specific information and reduce predation. We do not promote the control of Bullfrogs without a comprehensive management plan in place.


We also distribute Bullfrog educational material across the Fraser Valley to prevent the spread of this invasive species. 

What is a Bullfrog?

The American Bullfrog (Rana catebeinanus) is a species of frog native to South-Eastern Canada and the Central-Eastern United States. The term “bull frog” can sometimes be used to describe a large male frog or toad. Don’t be confused by our native Western Toad or other large adult frogs; the Bullfrog is an invasive species.


The Bullfrog has a loud, distinctive breeding call heard throughout the summer months.



Why Care About Bullfrogs?

Check out some of the reasons why Bullfrogs are a big deal in the Fraser Valley.

They are a Problematic Invasive Species

Invasive species are those that do not originate in the area and cause harm to the local ecosystem. The American Bullfrog is native to Eastern and Central North American where they have natural predators that keep their numbers down. Outside of their native range, they are considered invasive predators that can cause serious harm to wetlands.


The American Bullfrog is widely considered one of the world’s most invasive species and a Bullfrog invasion is a serious concern to our sensitive wetland ecosystems that support species at risk in the Fraser Valley.



They have Big Appetites

American Bullfrogs are the largest frog species found in BC, and in the Fraser Valley, these invasive frogs are at the top of the wetland food chain. Adults have voracious appetites and are generalist “gape-limited” predators, meaning they will eat anything that will fit in their mouths. This includes invertebrates, other frogs, salamanders, young turtles, snakes, birds and small mammals. Bullfrog tadpoles are herbivorous, consuming algae and detritus, and competing with other native species tadpoles.


In the photo below we see an adult female Bullfrog posed with a juvenile Bullfrog. The juvenile Bullfrog is already the size of an adult Northern Red-legged Frog.



They are Spreading Around the Fraser Valley

American bullfrogs were originally introduced to BC by humans creating frog leg farms for human consumption. Once a few escaped or were released from these farms they have spread quickly to other areas. Humans contribute to the spread of Bullfrogs in BC by collecting and moving unknown wild frogs, using live tadpoles as fish bait, and releasing pets into the wild. Bullfrogs are also able to travel great distances over land and can thrive in human-disturbed habitats, making them very adaptable to changes in their environment. Once established in an area, populations can rapidly increase with just a few successful breeding seasons. A single female can lay between 5,000 to 20,000 eggs per year.


Pictured: young adult Green Frogs (another non-native species in the Fraser Valley) collected by children.


What Does the Bullfrogs and Biodiversity Program Do?

Bullfrog Control

Quickly removing Bullfrogs from the Ryder Lake area to reduce the negative impacts of an invasion on local biodiversity.

Amphibian Research

Working with university partners and other groups to answer Bullfrog questions. In 2021, we will be investigating frog deformities observed in 2020.

Community Engagement

Sharing Bullfrog information, identification tips, and control methods with the community.

Ryder Lake Rapid Response Program

In 2020 we established a rapid response control program for a new Bullfrog population in the Ryder Lake neighbourhood of Chilliwack. Read our program report (caution: large file)

How Can I Help?

The most important thing you can do to help is to stop the spread of invasive species. Never move eggs, tadpoles, or frogs from one area to another.

Before you take any Bullfrog management actions you need to be absolutely sure it is the right step.

Hop on over to our Frog Finders program to get in touch with our frog team.

Important: Before you engage in any Bullfrog control actions, you need to address these questions. 1. Have you confirmed the frog species identification with an expert? 2. Do you have a plan for how to help native species thrive in the area? 3. Are you committed to a long-term management plan? 4. If you answered "no" to any of these questions, please get in touch before you take action. Misinformed Bullfrog control can do more hard than good.

Additional Information

Program Partners 

Thanks to the community of Ryder Lake for their support and insight over the years. Special thanks to Grace and Steve for their dedication and countless hours of volunteer work. And thanks to the program partners below who have provided financial support.