Living Lightly: Making pools safer for wildlife

Living Lightly: Making pools safer for wildlife

A Froglog can save countless animals from drowning.
A Column Promoting a More Earth-friendly Lifestyle

By John L. Turner

John Turner

Countless numbers of wild animals, from chipmunks and mice to raccoons and skunks drown in in-ground pools every year unable to climb out of the water along the pool edge. (Two chipmunks unfortunately drowned in my pool last year the first day I uncovered the pool and before I had placed several water exiting devices I had in the shed). Smaller reptiles and amphibians drown too.   

There are products you can buy to minimize the chance of wildlife drowning in your pool. They are installed or placed on the edge of the pool and serve as a ramp to allow for animals to climb out. Two products come to mind: 1) Skamper-ramp, for larger animals such as mammals (and your pets!) and 2) Froglogs, effective for smaller animals. Even knotted nylon rope hanging into the water can help smaller mammals escape. Four to six Froglogs or rope are recommended for the average size pool (I placed eight of these to be extra safe).

With these devices in place you can have greater piece of mind knowing your pool is only a place for fun and relaxation!

A resident of Setauket, John Turner is conservation chair of the Four Harbors Audubon Society, author of “Exploring the Other Island: A Seasonal Nature Guide to Long Island” and president of Alula Birding & Natural History Tours.