Yesterday I started my first day of fieldwork, beginning at the beautiful Ben Lomond. The frogs aren’t yet spawning (the water temperature ranged from 4.8oC at the base of the mountain to still frozen at 730m) but lack of ice lower down meant it was time to set up the temperature loggers. My supervisor, Barbara Mable and I set out dataloggers to measure air and water temperature at low, mid and high elevation pools (although water temperature can’t be measured at high altitude yet. The ice is still very thick and our best efforts couldnt break it). You can see in the photos the stakes that the dataloggers are attached to and the pools we will monitor.

Thanks to Alasdair Eckersall, the Property Manager and Ranger for Ben Lomond, we have a good idea of where frogs usually spawn on the mountain and have chosen sites to monitor accordingly. We also measured the conductivity and pH of the water bodies. Although I’ll be characterising the pool parameters fully later in the season, it is interesting to note that it was pH that varied the most between sites, with conductivity staying the same and temperature varying very little between the low (80m) and mid (427m) sites. There was still a fair amount of snow lying on the mountain and it will be a while before the high altitude frogs start breeding, but with the low level water being close to 50C I suspect the lower elevation frogs will start breeding in the next week. So start keeping your eyes open…

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