IT may not be a task that most would relish but in excess of 30kg of frogspawn which was in risk of being left high and dry - and dying - was saved in a very unusual rescue mission.
Dr Fran Igoe of the EU Life project at IRD Duhallow told The Corkman that they were in a "race against time" to save the tadpoles from an almost certain death after recent floods in Kanturk.
Frogs and, tadpoles, are protected species, as their numbers have been dropping. However, how the frogspawn actually ended up in the field left conservationists scratching their heads.
Dr Igoe said a considerable amount of frogspawn was stranded in a field on the Newmarket side of Kanturk adjacent to the River Dalua. He explained that flood water had inundated the fields in the floodplain of the river and frogs had spawned in hollows in a field. The water in these hollows had then started to "dry up" and it was noticed that the frogspawn was in danger of drying out.
This was pointed out to the EU Life team who were conducting a training day for the Duhallow Birdwatch group.
"When members of the Duhallow Bridwatch Group pointed out the sorry plight of the frogspawn, it was clear that something needed to be done immediately or the spawn was going to be left high and dry in a matter of days," Dr Igoe said.
He said rather than allow this to happen, the frogspawn was moved to a nearby Oxbow lake, adjacent to the river.
Dr Igoe did point out that it was possible that the frogs mistook the flooded fields as suitable habitat for the rearing of young frogs, as there was no other logical reason for them choosing such an unsuitable habitant.
Frogs are protected under the Irish Wildlife Acts of 1976 and 2000 and are also listed on the EU Habitats Directive.