With dry conditions in wetlands around the Gippsland Lakes helping our local frogs couldn’t be more vital – and you can play a role in helping them by taking part in Australia biggest frog count.
This week is FrogID week which aims to collect frog calls from across Australia to enable frog populations to 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 Green and 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.”
Recently, frog calls have been recorded at Sale Common and Heart Morass, where water for the environment is being delivered.
West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s Environmental Water Officer, Adrian Clements, said the frogs calling at Heart Morass were the Green and Golden Bell Frog.
“We actually had this recording confirmed through the FrogID app,” said Mr Clements.
“Frogs are a true indicator of wetland health, it’s great to see that these Green and Golden Bell frogs are responding to the improved conditions at Heart Morass.
“Green and Golden Bell frog calls have been recorded at the Heart before, but never in this location as far as we’re aware.”
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.
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.
For local assistance with the App, contact Martin Potts at Greening Australia via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Press play to hear the sounds of nature at Heart Morass and the Green and Golden Bell Frogs calling.