Frogs of the Gippsland Lakes are calling for help – and you can play a role in helping save them by taking part in Australia’s biggest frog count – FrogID Week, Friday 9 November to Sunday 18 November 2018.
FrogID Week is the next phase of the Australian Museum’s FrogID citizen science program, aimed at collecting frog calls across the nation – at a moment in time – to establish a benchmark from which frog populations can be monitored annually.
Dr Jodi Rowley, Australian Museum Curator of Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology, said public help during FrogID Week was vital to collect all the information scientists need to track the health of Australian frog populations.
Around the Gippsland Lakes there are populations of the vulnerable Golden Bell Frog and Growling Grass Frog.
Martin Potts, Program Manager with Greening Australia, has been working in partnership with local landholders and catchment management authorities to help restore and create new wetland sites where these frogs can live and breed.
“We’re conducting our own research with the National Frog Recovery team looking for frogs at wetland sites,” said Mr Potts. “You can do your bit to help love our lakes by downloading the Frog ID app and recording calls you hear.
“This information will go to a central database held by the Australian Museum and if they get recordings of calls of threatened or vulnerable species, they will notify local natural resource management staff.
“We can then do more surveys and prioritise restoring wetland sites for these little guys.”
WHY FROGS COUNT
Australia has 240 known species of native frogs, many of which are under threat. Hundreds of frog species have already disappeared worldwide and many more are on the edge of extinction.
Sir David Attenborough has described amphibians as “the lifeblood of many environments”. As one of the first animal species to feel the impact of environmental changes, declining frog populations are a “warning call” about the impacts of climate change and pollution on Australia’s waterways, wildlife and ecosystems.
Frogs also play a critical role in the management of insect pests. Frog-skin secretions are also being explored in drugs to fight infection, release insulin, regulate the heart and cure diseases, such as cancer.
Each frog species has a unique call, which is an accurate way to identify different frog species. Recording and uploading frog calls, via the FrogID app, will identify different frog species, along with time and location data, using GPS technology. A team of frog experts will verify calls submitted by the public. This data will help map frog populations across Australia and identify areas and species under threat.
To download the app go to www.frogid.net.au.
In the past year, FrogID participants have helped record more than 30,000 frog calls and identified 166 frog species, including frogs which the Australian Museum did not previously have audio recordings. There have been
- More than 60,000 downloads of the app
- More than 14,750 registered users
- More than 36,000 recordings submitted
- More than 45,000 verified frogs
- 174 frog species identified
For local assistance with the app, contact Martin Potts at Greening Australia via email on firstname.lastname@example.org