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Frog Team Surveys K’gari

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Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee (MRCCC), QPWS, Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers, Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation staff, Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG), and students from the University of the Sunshine Coast braved the mozzies and undertook frog surveys across K’gari as part of the post-fire K’gari Ecological Action Plan.

BLSR Rangers Myles and Blade work with MRCCC’s Eva and USC student Elise to identify K’gari’s acid frogs (Photo: MRCCC)

57 sites were surveyed across the island revealing 11 frog species including those of the rare and threatened ‘acid frog’ group; wallum froglet (Crinia tinnula), wallum sedgefrog (Litoria olongburensis), Cooloola sedgefrog (L. cooloolensis) and wallum rocketfrog (L. freycineti). Unfortunately, toads were also recorded at a number of sites.

Acid frogs are restricted to acidic coastal wetlands or wallum heathlands of eastern Australia and breed in oligotrophic (nutrient-poor) acidic (pH < 6.0) coastal swamps and lakes. These species are also covered by a National Recovery Plan (2006).

Survey sites were chosen to compare wetlands that had been recently burnt with those that had not, and to contribute information to assist park management. All fauna observed was recorded as well as a general flora assessment, overall wetland condition with respect to the recent fire and evidence of human impact.

Assessors noted that vegetation recovery is progressing well since the fire and the frogs are plentiful and actively breeding. Data analyses still to be carried out will show more comprehensively if there are any differences in frog populations between the burnt and unburnt sites one year after the wildfire. 

The project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the Queensland Government Wetlands Unit.

Anyone interested in submitting wetland species sightings or observations can send them to findafrog@mrccc.org.au   

Article contributed by Eva Ford, MRCCC and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships

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