An animal's capacity to recolonize a patch depends on at least two components: its ability to detect the patch and its ability to reach it. However, the disruption of such processes by anthropic disturbances could explain low animal abundance patterns observed by many investigators in certain landscapes. Through field experiments, we compared the orientation and homing success of northern green frogs (Rana clamitans melanota Rafinesque, 1820) and northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens Schreber, 1782) translocated across disturbed or undisturbed surfaces. We also monitored the path selected by individuals when presented with a choice between a short distance over a disturbed surface and a longer, undisturbed route. Finally, we measured the water loss and behaviour of frogs on substrates resulting from anthropogenic disturbances and a control. When presented with a choice, 72% of the frogs avoided disturbed surfaces. Although able to orient towards the pond of capture when translocated on disturbed surfaces, frogs had a lower probability of homing successfully to the pond than when translocated at a similar distance on an undisturbed surface. Frogs lost the most water on substrates associated with disturbance and in the absence of cover. Our data illustrate that anthropically disturbed areas devoid of cover, such as mined peatlands and agricultural fields, disrupt the ability of frogs to reach habitat patches and are likely explanations to their reduced abundance patterns in such environments. ?? 2005 NRC Canada.