Pretty healthy. Many species of mammal, bird, amphibian and reptile can be spotted with a little luck and sometimes by just looking out the window. But that’s anecdotal. How do we REALLY know Plainfield City’s wildlife is thriving? Indicator species are a good place to start. As many of you probably know, an indicator species is 1 that is vulnerable to any of 1 of many environmental factors. Examples of the later are acid rain or toxic compounds and frogs are a great example of the former. Because frogs, like all amphibians, breathe through their skin they are more susceptible to mild acids, such as acid rain. Insecticides such as imidacloprid, a commonly sold Bayer insecticide that has been shown to harm honeybee populations, have been shown to decrease lifespans and reproduction of some frogs.
There are number of frog populations that make Plainfield City their home and they are doing pretty well. I personally see bullfrog populations soar if Herons are kept, usually by Geese, from checking their numbers. Also, I regularly see wood frogs, traditionally found wherever vernal pools appear, all around my yard. The appearance of these little hoppers is a very good sign and this is NOT always reflected in other towns or in states. We are fortunate in that aspect.
With a lifespan of up to 3 years, wood frogs are somewhat unique in that they are most prevalent in northeastern US and are the only frog found north of the arctic circle. Wintering in leaf litter, they actually have evolved to thrive in subfreezing temps. Miraculously their hearts stop beating, they stop breathing and they have an intercell antifreeze that keeps their cells from freezing/exploding. Another interesting fact is that as tadpoles, they can recognize and do congregate around their siblings. Living on insects, arachnids and snails these little guys couldn’t be more helpful to us humans.
Get out and enjoy the healthy wildlife of Plainfield City!